New report claims 24-hour, variable price iTunes rentals

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Adding to the media frenzy surrounding possible iTunes movie rentals, a Hollywood magazine alleges that Apple's rentals will only last for short stretches of time and will use a flexible price structure.



Variety refers to supposed studio contacts which say that rented movie downloads from iTunes will last for just 24 hours before becoming unplayable. The report did not say how many plays would be allowed during the period.



However, Apple may rely on price and not longevity to lure in customers, according to the magazine. While some rentals will cost $5 each -- placing their rental prices close to those of new releases at retail outlets -- some will cost as little as $2.



No mention is made of the reasoning for the price system, though it may parallel Apple's variable price system for purchased movies, which discounts older titles.



The claimed sources also mirror information reported previously which suggests that Disney and Fox are the only two studios known to be pledging support for rentals. Other studios friendly to Apple's video efforts, such as Lionsgate, MGM, and Paramount, are described as candidates. Conversely, studios such as Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. have "various competitive reasons" to keep their videos out of the service, Variety adds.



The latter may allude to Apple's spat with NBC-Universal, which has seen NBC TV shows pulled from iTunes. Universal Music Group has also opted out of long-term iTunes music contracts and excluded Apple from its protection-free music offerings.



Like all reports so far, however, the trade publication is certain about the date: its purported insiders state that Apple will announce movie rentals at next month's Macworld San Francisco expo.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 86
    Hmmm.... if variable pricing can work here, surely it should work with music too?
  • Reply 2 of 86
    apple will not price rentals at more than $1.99 which is way to much i think. why?? because they have netflix and others compete with. $5 is the price of a new release DVD on ebay and amazon used in nearly perfect condition
  • Reply 3 of 86
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Here in the UK you'd never pay $5 for a new rental, so I hope that if the service comes here Apple don't do their usual pricing strategy...
  • Reply 4 of 86
    MGM is a Sony subsidiary, why the different policies?



    /Adrian
  • Reply 5 of 86
    I would absolutely go for $2 rentals. I don't care if it's one play and 24 hours to play it. I don't watch movies that frequently, so this would make much more sense for me than Netflix or anything like that.



    If these are still SD, though, I will have difficulty justifying much more than $2 a movie. HD movies for $3-4 would be okay, but not for SD. I really hope Apple doesn't think they can still justify selling standard def movies for anything more than bargain basement prices in 2008.
  • Reply 6 of 86
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    However, Apple may rely on price and not longevity to lure in customers, according to the magazine. While some rentals will cost $5 each -- placing their rental prices close to those of new releases at retail outlets -- some will cost as little as $2.



    LOL. $5 for a rental. Sounds like wishful thinking on the studio's part to me. Maybe the $2 a day thing might work, but you're gonna need HD content soon.
  • Reply 7 of 86
    For me: $2.87 per movie.



    I'm interested in what other people are paying. Anyone else want to do the math?



    NOTE: To calculate that number, I pulled up my Netflix history and counted how many movies I had actually received during 2007: 77 movies. Then I added up my yearly cost for my 3-at-a-time plan including tax ($18.39 x 12 = $220.68) and divided that by my 77 movies for an average of $2.87.



    How about you?
  • Reply 8 of 86
    boogabooga Posts: 1,080member
    I've decided I'm only buying from iTunes, and any of the studios or music labels who want to try to screw Apple can find other customers. I know they're trying to break Apple's distribution monopoly by selling only to Amazon so they can raise prices later, and I'm not going to fall for it.
  • Reply 9 of 86
    $2 for 24 hours? With the Walmart RedBox at only $0.99 per day, it won't be very appealing except maybe for the older movies that have moved out of the RedBox.



    Not leaving your home could be a slight advantage I guess, but Walmart for me is less than a 5 minute drive.
  • Reply 10 of 86
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DarkRail View Post


    NOTE: To calculate that number, I pulled up my Netflix history and counted how many movies I had actually received during 2007: 77 movies. Then I added up my yearly cost for my 3-at-a-time plan ($16.99 x 12 = $203.88) and divided that by my 77 movies for an average of $2.65.



    How about you?



    For me, it was 78. Of course, since the iTunes price always includes tax, I based it on the actual paid NetFlix price of $18.34 a month. So for me, $2.82 a rental.



    Of course, if you had 24 hours to watch it after you began watching it, I'd totally pay that price. The other day I bought an older $10 movie on iTunes for the kids to watch with a moments notice instead of going to the store, hoping that had it, etc. I would LOVE to have been able to rent it.



    As much as I love NetFlix, if I could just rent virtually anything at the drop of a hat for $2-$3, I would definitely cancel my membership and do that. NetFlix makes it easy to queue things, but I will routinely find myself with 3 movies I'm not in the mood for right this. iTunes rentals would solve all of that.



    Sign me up.
  • Reply 11 of 86
    I personally think that the DVD era will end. Do you remember video tapes?

    I don't know anyone who uses VHS anymore. If we could be able to rent movies

    off of iTunes or maybe put them on Apple TV, life would be just perfect. No more waiting for DVD's in the mail or driving to the store. Rentals right in your home, when you want it.



    What do you think?
  • Reply 12 of 86
    irelandireland Posts: 17,685member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sansa11` View Post


    I personally think that the DVD era will end. Do you remember video tapes?

    I don't know anyone who uses VHS anymore. If we could be able to rent movies

    off of iTunes or maybe put them on Apple TV, life would be just perfect. No more waiting for DVD's in the mail or driving to the store. Rentals right in your home, when you want it.



    What do you think?



    Gosh you're a genius.



    Don't expect DVD's to die anytime soon though. Or DVD players for that matter, given that most people on this planet have at least a small collection of them.
  • Reply 13 of 86
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Variety refers to supposed studio contacts which say that rented movie downloads from iTunes will last for just 24 hours before becoming unplayable.



    This is fine if I want to view a movie during my commute, but what if I want to take a few films on a trip? I guess it means I have no choice but to go the illegal route and rip...
  • Reply 14 of 86
    It's not DVDs that iTunes rentals would compete with. It's the cable companies' Video On Demand services and Amazon Unbox (TiVo) that are the immediate competition. The last time I even looked at VOD prices, Time Warner VOD rentals were 24 hours and range from $1.99 for old low-demand movies, to $3.99 for the latest releases. Those releases tend to be SD, not HD, locally.
  • Reply 15 of 86
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zandros View Post


    MGM is a Sony subsidiary, why the different policies?



    You're right on that, though Sony doesn't appear to be the sole owner, I really don't know the specifics. Maybe they're just testing the service? That doesn't seem to make sense as they can probably choose what movies to release to the service.
  • Reply 16 of 86
    I currently pay $2.99 for two physical DVD rentals. One is a new release for one day, the other is a "catalogue" movie for 7 days. Regular catalogue movies by themselves are 99¢ for 7 days. I can be at my local video store and back in under 10 minutes. iTunes rentals would have to come in a lot less than than two for $2.99 (or one old one for a buck) considering how long it takes to download them, AND I don't get the extra content from the DVDs.
  • Reply 17 of 86
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sansa11` View Post


    I personally think that the DVD era will end. Do you remember video tapes?

    I don't know anyone who uses VHS anymore. If we could be able to rent movies

    off of iTunes or maybe put them on Apple TV, life would be just perfect. No more waiting for DVD's in the mail or driving to the store. Rentals right in your home, when you want it.



    What do you think?



    While the DVD era will end someday, it won't be for decades. The DVD is still inferior to the VHS in many ways. It takes forever for a DVD recorder to turn on and they all have incredibly frustrating inconsistency. Sometimes they record, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they record and then when I try to watch it, the recorder says the disc is blank and wants to format it. I've bought 4 DVD recorders (Lite-On, Sony, Zenith and Samsung) and I have had the same problems with all of them. I can't rely on them. No, only a VHS will turn on instantly, record instantly (don't have to format, can pause - flip channel and continue to record without a 3 minute delay, etc.) and never lose the image it recorded (unless you record over it). I long for the day when DVD recorders are as reliable and instanteous as the VHS VCR!!!



    Although, I suppose DVD's could die from a lack of a good DVD recorder if Apple turned the MacMini into a VCR-like DVR, elimintating the need for a monthly fee (like TIVO)! I would buy three of those tomorrow!!! All I want is a VCR-type device with a hard drive instead of a tape. Let me program it and use it like I want.
  • Reply 18 of 86
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    This doesn't sound right, 24 hours is not long enough. And what would be the motivation for keeping it so short? I remember renting videos from Blockbuster back in the day, and their new releases were just 24-hr rentals, because they wanted them back so other people could rent them. What's the point of limiting a digital download to 24 hours?
  • Reply 19 of 86
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Why is everyone comparing iTunes Store video rentals to Netflix and making price comparisons of the two? The most direct and obvious comparison is your cable company's On-Demand video. Mine charges me $4.99 for new releases and as low as $1.99 for children's movies and classics.
  • Reply 20 of 86
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Arbiter8 View Post


    While the DVD era will end someday, it won't be for decades. The DVD is still inferior to the VHS in many ways. It takes forever for a DVD recorder to turn on and they all have incredibly frustrating inconsistency. Sometimes they record, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they record and then when I try to watch it, the recorder says the disc is blank and wants to format it. I've bought 4 DVD recorders (Lite-On, Sony, Zenith and Samsung) and I have had the same problems with all of them. I can't rely on them. No, only a VHS will turn on instantly, record instantly (don't have to format, can pause - flip channel and continue to record without a 3 minute delay, etc.) and never lose the image it recorded (unless you record over it). I long for the day when DVD recorders are as reliable and instanteous as the VHS VCR!!!



    Although, I suppose DVD's could die from a lack of a good DVD recorder if Apple turned the MacMini into a VCR-like DVR, elimintating the need for a monthly fee (like TIVO)! I would buy three of those tomorrow!!! All I want is a VCR-type device with a hard drive instead of a tape. Let me program it and use it like I want.



    Ever try a HHD plus DVD recorder? it records the programme to HDD then when you are sure you have a viable recording that you want to archive you burn it to DVD. Panasonic do a few of these, as do Sony and Samsung.



    Alternatively the Elgato EyeTV will record to your mac mini.
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