Coming soon: iTunes movie rentals

Coming soon: iTunes movie rentals

Summary: A report in the Financial Times says that Apple and Twentieth Century Fox have reached a deal to provide movie rentals on the iTunes Store:Apple has signed News Corp’s 20th Century Fox studio to a new online video-on-demand service in a deal that could change the way people pay for online film content.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, Hardware
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Twentieth Century Fox logoA report in the Financial Times says that Apple and Twentieth Century Fox have reached a deal to provide movie rentals on the iTunes Store:

Apple has signed News Corp’s 20th Century Fox studio to a new online video-on-demand service in a deal that could change the way people pay for online film content.

The agreement will allow consumers to rent the latest Fox DVD releases by downloading a digital copy from Apple’s iTunes platform for a limited time, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The deal is just the tip of the iceberg. If Fox is the studio that we know about, Apple is most likely negotiating with the other large studios (Universal, Warner Brothers, Paramount, MGM/UA, Sony/Columbia TriStar, etc.) as well.

Disney currently sells their full line of films on iTunes while Paramount, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Lionsgate sell older library titles.

In addition to the impending iTunes video rental agreement the FT reports that Apple will also extend their FairPlay digital rights management to allow the studio to include an iPod-compatible version of the movie on the DVD.

A digital file protected by FairPlay will be included in new Fox DVD releases, enabling film content to be transferred or “ripped” from the disc to a computer and video iPod. DVD content can already be moved to an iPod but this requires special software and is considered piracy by some studios.

Look for the iTunes video rental deal to be announced at Macworld.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware

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67 comments
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  • Final death knell for Block Buster...

    This has been coming for a long time. DVD rentals via mail is pretty nice, but nothing can compete with instant gratification. Kudos' to Apple and the genius of Steve Jobs. Apple these days always seems to be one step ahead of their competition. To bad for them, good for Apple. Nobody seems able to come close to doing it as well as Apple.
    gtdworak
    • Well for those of us who do not have...

      the bandwidth (Which is a lot of us folks in rural America) will still be getting our movies from Block Buster Online.
      mrOSX
      • 4G Dude...

        4G WIMAX will be coming on line this year, making broadband available to anyone, anywhere. Ain't technology cool?
        gtdworak
        • Well they still have to roll it out to the whole...

          country and that will take more than a year, and WIMAX has been talked about for @ least the last 2yrs and I have yet to see any deployment in my part of the world.
          mrOSX
        • Care to share.....

          what's in your pipe???

          Heck, where I live we don't even have 3G tech. I'll lose cell service 10 miles out side of
          town. There are parts of the state (Wyoming) were I can drive for close to an hour with
          no cell service.

          WiMax? We don't have the population density to make it worth the $$$$. That said, I
          do have a 7x4Mb pipe at my house (wireless).
          middle of nowhere
        • Now If IPhone Would Get 3G

          We'd be a lot happier.
          itanalyst
        • 4G? I want gigabit.

          4G? Bah, humbug - I've got a broadband connection and a computer with gigabit ethernet. 4G can eat my dust.
          CobraA1
        • ROFL

          I don't know where you live, but where I live, highspeed internet is only available to >10% of the population of my area because of where they live - basically in the boondocks. But aside from that, I live in a small town, situated near other small towns. The closest city of any substance is...hmmm....probably Chicago...which is 10 hours away.

          I seriously doubt we'll be getting 4G WIMAX anytime soon. They still haven't figured out how to get all the residents digital cable. And, we're by no means the most remote place in the country. Far from it.

          Blockbuster's model is a good one for people like us. And there are far more of us than there are city-dwellers. ;)
          laura.b
    • Too bad it was

      not Job's idea, (just another one borrowed from someone else and incorporated in to iTunes) but I am guessing as much that your post was meant more for the troll then anything else. ;)

      In truth it is a nice thing for those that wish to get their movie rentals that way, yet there are quite a few (more that do not, then do) that do not have the technology to aquire their movies that way. Comcast's "on demand" is a much more viable feature for those, and I still see many a person at Blockbuster stores.
      GuidingLight
      • We'll see...

        in about two years from now.
        gtdworak
        • It will be the same as it is now...

          for Block Buster. They have several issues to overcome

          1) Bandwidth issues, if everyone started downloading 8-9gb movies
          This would choke the internet as it stands now.
          2) In order to use iTunes you will need a device that supports
          getting the movies, lots of folks are Tech challenged and will
          not adopt this method.
          3) If HiDef Content comes into play in the next 2 yr, the movie
          download size becomes closer to 20 gb or greater.
          4) Rural America is still using dial up for internet access.

          So those of us who are bandwidth challenged (and there are a lot) will rely on place's that rent movies either via a brick and mortar store or an online service like Block Buster or net flix.
          mrOSX
          • Say what?

            1: 8-9GB movies? A standard DVD holds 4.3GB, most movies don't use all of that up. And thats with MPEG2 compression. H.264 shrinks file sizes to less than half of that with no quality loss. Plus, a LOT of people are already downloading mass amounts of data, be it torrents or sites like YouTube.

            2: The iPod is the best selling portable media player in the world (70%+ market share). Its not like MS's Plays For Sure where some devices play it, some devices don't, and the list changes every few months. Any Computer running Windows 2K/XP/Vista or OS X will be able to download and play the content. iPod's will play the video.

            3: Again, it wont be anywhere near 20GB. DVD's use MPEG2, which is an ancient compression format, and while it may work fine, it also has huge file sizes. H.264 has FAR smaller sizes. It does require more CPU power to decode, but thats no problem with todays machines.

            4: I live in a rural town of 2600 people and I have DSL, or I could use 3G wireless. 3G is plenty fast for downloading. 4G will make it all the faster.

            All the big population centers in the US (ie: where 80% of the population is) will have no issues with getting broadband. The rest of the people are a minority and are most likely not tech savey enough to do this kind of thing anyway.
            Stuka
          • Sorry to inform you...

            1) but movies come on a dual layer DVD and it can hold 9gb and most movies I have seen lately have 7-9gb worth of data on them, some of the older ones have less. but even @ 4.7 gb it still is not going to go well with low bandwidth.

            2) People who rent movies want to watch them on their TV not an iPod.

            3) Still size will be greater than standard DVD
            4) I live in a rural town where CABLE/DSL are not an option,
            except for those who live right in the city. Otherwise
            outside the city limits dialup or wireless (768kb @ best)
            mrOSX
          • mrosx you are right i rip and reburn every dvd i buy and

            mrosx you are right i rip and re-burn every dvd i buy. if i rip only the movie the size runs around 7gb the other is mostly filler "ie" coming attractions and other crap.

            i hardly ever rip a dvd that is less than 6gb. as a matter of fact i have only had one dvd that was small enough for a single layer dvd. it was a 2 disk movie one was double layer and one single
            SO.CAL Guy
          • Um 8 years ago I lived out side of a small town in Maine.

            The town itself was small and I lived well outside of it and yet I had cable back
            then. I think while you are correct there are still area's where cable has not reached
            that shrinks with each passing year.

            As for renting for TV and not iPods who knows? With greater flexibility and
            wireless for say the iPod Touch people might rent on the fly as situations warrant. I
            for one can't say for sure that this would not become increasingly common
            place...you?

            Pagan jim
            Laff
          • sorry to tell you

            but think again. Movies are dual layer so the statement about 8-9G is totally 100% correct.

            Also, in item 2 you stated that itunes would run on 2k. It does not. I have a friend that just got a crap pod for xmas and tried to install itunes. It will only run on XP or vista.
            inithell
          • Crap pod....ha! Harsh.

            So why the negative vibes towards an object? You do realize it's a product that's all it
            does not have any feelings towards you. It does not wish to upset you or please you
            for that matter it's just a thing. A popular thing mind you but a thing none the less.
            So why the moniker "crap" pod? Has it managed to offend you somehow?

            Pagan jim
            Laff
          • Whoa whoa whoa

            [i]The rest of the people are a minority and are most likely not tech savey enough to do this kind of thing anyway.[/i]

            First of all, 20% of the population, for all you math-geniuses out there, is 60,000,000 people. <-- that's 60 million.

            Who the hell do you think you are assuming that 60 million people are too dumb to download a video? What kind of stuck-up ass are you?

            Newsflash for you: I live in a rural area like that which you speak so highly of...I am not only quite tech savvy, I don't know anyone who isn't. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't have a computer or doesn't know how to use one. You realize that you're very condescending assuming something like that. Just because we don't live in cities doesn't mean we're retarded. You really need to get over yourself and apologize. You may think you know, but you know nothing.
            laura.b
        • I beleive you may be assuming that Fox

          will cease distribution of DVD's? This is in [i]addition[/i] to existing channels of distribution, not a replacement for them.

          Plus you may be assuming that the majority of people are willing to watch their movies on a computer or 3 inch wide screen.

          No one I know who rents DVD's run home and watch them on their computer monitors in their offices; I do know of many who do watch them on their 27" and up televisions in their living rooms, though.

          Purchase Apple TV? Now you are adding hardware and yet another layer of technology/cost onto the viewing of those movies.

          Comcast, as do other cable companies, have "on demand" which allows people to do the same thing at the moment, without the need for a computer, credit card, or additional layer of technology beyond what is already included into their cable box.
          GuidingLight
          • You do now...

            I own a 24" iMac and that is my TV as well. I watch movies, TV and play video
            games on it thanks to my eyetv hybrid device that attaches to cable and my XBox
            360.

            As for comcast and or other cable outfits. I for one find the entire industry one
            huge rip off. I would love to see the entire business model destroyed by future
            technology. I want to pick and choose what I want to watch...when I want to watch
            it. Not have a ton and a half of blank shoved down my throat and told it has value
            and worse still CHARGED for it. I do like the concept of on-demand but that is an
            additional cost above and beyond what I am already paying for. Give me the on-
            demand part and keep the host of channels I NEVER watch and the army of shows
            that are on the channels I do occasionally watch but of which I rarely watch more
            than a show or two on said channels. STOP charging me for what I don't have any
            use for and telling me I'm getting a deal. It does not make sense.

            Pagan jim
            Laff