Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

Summary: Tech's worst kept secret: Apple's working on an audio and video streaming service that could challenge Netflix. Can iTunes Replay pose a credible challenge to the big "N?"

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, Hardware

AppAdvice reports that Apple is close to finally launching a full-fledged video re-downloading (and possibly streaming) service named iTunes Replay.

According to the its sources iTunes Replay will allow Apple TV (and "probably" iOS) users to re-download movies they purchased from iTunes dating back to January 1, 2009.

It's unclear when and if the service will work with a desktop Mac, but I'm betting that it will as soon as the proper licensing agreements are in place.

In a nutshell, iTunes Replay is an extension to what Apple is already doing with iCloud and free re-downloads of previously purchased music. As Apple secures the remaining rights, TV Shows as well as Movies in iTunes will be given little arrow indicating whether they’re “iTunes Replay eligible”, that is, available to be downloaded again. Note that some content will unfortunately only be available to download five times and we don’t know how streaming will count towards that limit.

Apple appears to be taking another cautious step toward streaming but it's still a long way from being a full-on video streaming video service that could challenge the likes of Netflix -- at least, not immediately. But then again, it's not the first time someone's predicted Netflix's demise would come at the hands of Apple.

Being the lead dog, Apple is taking its time and doing things right. It doesn't want to rush into into anything that would jeopardize its relationships with the music labels (like Google and Amazon did) or with the movie studios for that matter.

Apple will enter the streaming space when it's good and ready, I'm just hoping that it will be worth the wait.

Image: thinq

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware

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  • Apple, I know thee not.

    The stuff is still very nice tho'
    • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

      I for one hope Apple does offer a service that will compete against Netflix. There's really no viable competition for Netflix and they know it... as a result two price increases in less than a year with the last one as high as 60% for some customers. Without competition Netflix will continue to gouge customers to keep shareholders and analyst happy.

      We need serious competition in this space.
      • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

        @Masari.Jones the price hike wasn't really Netflix's doing, it was the movie companies/content provider's...
  • Message has been deleted.

  • Already seeing it!

    Actually, I'm already seeing it - I recently agreed to a new TOS, and found that iTunes is now offering to allow me to re-download recently purchased TV shows.

    We're actually starting to see more and more iCloud functionality "leak in" with the current iOS and iTunes.
    • Message has been deleted.

    • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

      Only certain things have DRM - and that's only because of publishers. If it weren't for publishers, it would probably be DRM free.

      And yeah it transfers to my other devices fine. The DRM isn't so bad that I can't play my stuff on different devices, as long as I'm using iTunes to make the transfers it works fine.
  • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

    It's a bait post. Apple's offering is nowhere near a streaming video option for a monthly subscription. Call me when they release that. Then they can go through the channels of taking market share, i.e. being on every console, it's own set top boxes, beating price, etc. Allowing people to redownload previous purchases 5 times does not seem to qualify.

    Additionally, placing little quips about Google's and Amazon's potential issues with the music cartel has absolutely nothing to do with the movie cartel.

    Just sayin'
  • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

    On August 1, the iTunes Store offered free streaming of "The Concert for Bangladesh" movie. There were a few hiccups/buffering breaks during transmission to my Mac, but audio and video quality were good overall. Seems to me this is a very typically Apple form of proof-of-concept/shakedown cruise. They got to market a new digital offering (the movie was just added to the store); do some societal good (all proceeds from sale/rental of the movie benefit George Harrison's UNICEF fund, and viewers of the free show were encouraged, via a donate link, to support the fund); and Apple got to test their feature-length video streaming capacity under pretty ideal conditions: Demand for all things Beatles is still brisk, but this probably wouldn't tax the infrastructure the way streaming a Harry Potter flick (or even "Yellow Submarine") might do. And if there were a few glitches, who could complain? The whole thing was free, and in the name of a good cause.
  • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

    If they implement this it'll kill BlueRay usage in my household. I've loaded several digital copies that came with a BlueRay into iTunes and love the ability to stream to the Apple TV in the other room. I've begun to purchase iTunes music now that it's DRM free and can be redownloaded later. I'll probably do the same for movies if they get it worked out to my satisfaction.
    • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?


      Netflix is already killing Blue Ray and DVD. It will only get worse.

      For the future, I would look for the studios to offer the movies directly over the internet. They have the libraries, and won't have to split the profits with anybody. It's not Apple that Netflix will have to worry about, It's Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox.
      • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

        The problem with Blu-ray is that it's replacement was up and running before Blu Ray even arrived on the scene. DVD had decades to itself without a viable replacement. For many, there is little sense in investing in a library of Blu-ray media when the obvious paradigm shift is imminent. I think the biggest hurdle will be those people who can't get over the lack of physical media. I for one welcome it.
    • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

      @Jarhead5811 so either you do not own a 1080p TV or you apparently don't care about the visual difference between 720p vs. 1080p nor do you care about the lack of audio channels...

      just sayin...
  • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

    Does iTunes stream video to my Xbox 360, PS3?

    iTunes doesn't even do subscription model. Wake me up when they start doing that.
    • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

      @Samic if you prefer a subscription, to owning the copies of music, then maybe you should subscribe to one of the many subscription services available?
      • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

        @Rick_Kl Yes.

        And as you say, there are many subscription services so why would anyone want to stuck with iTunes that can only be used only on iDevices? For example Microsoft's Zune Pass subscription you can sample music and at the end of the month you've got to keep 10 songs.

        As for Video streaming, Netflix works on many devices yet iTunes only works on iDevices and slow, bloated iTunes.

        So of course I'll take Netflix over iTunes any days
      • apples & oranges

        We're not talking about purchasing songs. We're talking about streaming videos. Given the typical iTunes price for a movie ($9.99-$14.99), they're not any cheaper than owning the DVD. Plus, having the DVD actually lets me watch it on a lot more devices (Wii, DVD player, PC, etc.).

        So, unless Apple starts a video streaming service that's a) as easy to use as Netflix, b) has more available content than Netflix, c) can be used on the same or more devices that can access Netflix, & d) is cheaper per month than Netflix, they won't be able to beat Netflix (fanbois notwithstanding).
      • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

        @Samic [i]...iTunes that can only be used only on iDevices?[/i]
        What, iTunes only works on iDevices? Wow, I must be some kind of genius then since I have it running on what, 7 Windows machines.
    • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?

      @Samic you are winning
    • RE: Can iTunes Replay challenge the almighty Netflix?


      It'll stream to an Apple TV ;).