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NYT: iTunes rentals may stretch wider than Fox

updated 12:55 pm EST, Fri December 28, 2007

iTunes rentals beyond Fox?

Apple's unconfirmed video rental service will debut with several companies onboard, not just one, according to the New York Times. The Financial Times recently uncovered a deal with 20th Century Fox, which should see new releases come straight to iTunes, and iPod-sized, FairPlay-encoded files carried on DVD titles. The New York Times now cites "several people familiar with the negotiations" as saying that when Fox appears on stage at Macworld January 14th, it will be joined by several other companies whose names are not being leaked.

One strong possibility may be Disney, as Apple CEO Steve Jobs is on the company's board of directors, and it is the only company currently selling new movie releases through iTunes -- every other studio is selling older movies, or merely TV shows.

If and when a video rental service is confirmed, it will represent something of a backtrack for Jobs, who has criticized rentals in the past in favor of purchases. Rentals have, however, been one of the greatest public demands for iTunes, and Apple has found itself increasingly behind the times in face of rival services such as Movielink and Amazon's Unbox. Should Apple adopt rentals it could also aid the struggling Apple TV, which has had to compete with the likes of cableco set-top boxes and TiVo.

by MacNN Staff



  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If it's 2.99

    That is too much. Netflix will continue to get all of my business. Now $1.99 I would do.

    my .02

  1. jameshays

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't know that Steve has ever said that he didn't support video rentals. He's said that people want to own their music, but video's are a different beast. I may be wrong...

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969



    you are correct.. he has said that about music only.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    that would be the sweet spot. I agree with mgpalma, $2.99 is too much. I have the $8.99 a month subscription (one at a time, unlimited). Realistically I can watch, max, 8 or 9 movies in a month.I would bet the average person watches 3 to 5 per month with that subscription level. Do the math.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Prepare to be disappointed if you expect $1.99 rentals.

    Amazon charges $3.99 for most download rentals, with a handful at $2.99 or $1.99, and a few at $0.99 (specials). Only movies you buy (not rent) can be transferred to portable devices (and only to Windows plays-for-sure players). It's a 30 day rental period, but only a 24 hour viewing period. Not sure if you can watch it more than once in the 24 hours.

    I'm guessing an Apple rental system will be better than that...

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Proof please

    I would like to know when Jobs criticized video rentals. Music rentals yes. Videos, however, are a completely different animal.

  1. frisby

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Touch this and that.

    The Nintendo DS wont work...oh wait, its the best selling handheld.

    The iPhone wont worka as a smart phone because it doesn't have an actual keyboard...oh wait, that's what Microsloth said...

  1. scotty321

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not a backtrack

    MacNN continues its track record of poor reporting by saying that Steve Jobs has criticized video rentals in the past. This is NOT TRUE. Steve Jobs has NEVER criticized video rentals EVER. He has only criticized rentals of MUSIC. People want to OWN their music, but they DO WANT TO RENT THEIR VIDEOS. With continued reporting errors like this, MacNN continues to slip away from importance as a Macintosh news site while MacDailyNews continues its dominance as the best site for Mac news.

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