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Fox, Disney confirmed as iTunes rental partners?

updated 10:40 am EST, Mon December 31, 2007

Fox, Disney iTunes rentals

More details of the highly-anticipated iTunes rental service have been leaked, according to Variety. The movie trade magazine cites "studio sources" as saying that Fox and Disney are indeed confirmed as partners, and will make some sort of appearance during the January 14th Macworld keynote by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The two may also be joined by other distributors, such as MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount, which like Fox and Disney already sell permanent downloads on the iTunes Store.

Pricing is still a matter of speculation, but it is suggested that videos will cost between $2 to $5 to rent for 24 hours of viewing, with prices tending towards the lower end of the spectrum in order to lure people in from rival rental services such as Netflix or Amazon's Unbox. Video represents only 19 percent of the business Apple does through the iTunes Store, and the lack of rentals may be one of the problems affecting the Apple TV, which has so far sold far fewer units than products like the iPod or the iPhone.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iolaire

    Joined: Dec 1969


    to bad about the price

    To bad the price is so high, here in the DC area we have RedBox (.com) rentals in grocery stores at $1 per night. That is a perfect price point for cost based consumers such as my wife and I. I fear that $2+ rentals will only be attractive to the current media buyers and will not help to build the online rental industry.

    For example Netflix was extremely attractive to all users in the beginning, now with the public limiting of the volume of rentals it is a little less so, but think of how slow adoption would have been if they had priced it at something like $30-$40 per month.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Netflix DVD Rental

    Why not copy their 4-DVD-at-a-time rental plan ?

  1. randombob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Confirmed (?)

    OK, I'm just going to say it:

    If it's confirmed, then it's NOT a question mark kind of statement. You're either telling us that it is confirmed, or you're spreading rumor that it MAY be the case that they're partnering.

    Not both, c'mon!

  1. wildson06

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re:to bad about the price

    Dear iolaire,

    In terms of price, you need to figure in convenience into the equation. You have to physically drive to the grocery store to purchase the item, and hope they have the DVD in stock. Yeah iTunes rental might be a little higher, but you will be able to purchase the movie from the comfort of your home, and not have to worry about taking the DVD back in time. I don't know if $1 difference is worth the time and gas, but a larger difference might...

    I believe iTunes rental will be more conducive to impulse, techno-savy buyers while the rentals in grocery stores (physical outlets) will still cater to its base.

    Right now, we don't have any official word from Apple about this service, but I'm looking forward to MacWorld.

  1. jameshays

    Joined: Dec 1969



    At 2 dollars a rental for 24 hours, they are competing more with Pay-Per-View than DVD Rentals. I don't have a problem with that. That's about half what my current PPV's cost.

    Take it one step further and turn the Apple TV into a console gaming box as well where you can easily rent games for a few bucks as well.

    There's so much potential here. The internet is a game changer is so many ways. Those that take advantage of it, even the little guys, will win big.

  1. aburgh7

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re:to bad about the price

    to: wildson06

    Actually, the Red Boxes are much more convenient than that. You can browse the selection and reserve the movie online, so it's guaranteed to be there when you arrive. You can rent from one box and return from another. In addition to grocery stores, they are in McDonald's, too. I work in Herndon, VA, and there are at least 10 within a few miles, and 3 or 4 within 2 miles:

    On the drive home, I pass another at Wegman's and there is a Harris Teeter two blocks from my home.

    Granted, Red Box isn't everywhere, but it's a pretty good rental model, too. No hassling with long downloads, and if you need an extra day to watch it, just hang on to it and pay an extra dollar. It's enough to have kept me from signing up with Netflix. It will be interesting to see how video quality compares.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    24 hours

    Is that 24 hours of viewing the movie (so you could watch a 2 hour movie 12 times over the course of a year) or you have 24 hours from when you start watching it, or you have 24 hours from the point you 'rent' it??

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: 24 hours

    I guess all will be revealed in two weeks.

    One thing that concerns me is that the MacWorld keynote will be all about movie rentals, and not about new Macs or Mac software.

    While movie rentals will be nice, and may just get me to buy an AppleTV (if they are available in Canada), it really should take no more than ten minutes our of the keynote speech.

  1. csimon2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Redbox

    While I'll admit that redbox is a great idea, the thing that limits its scope for me personally is having to return the disc. I just don't like to go out to the grocery store (and never go to a McDonalds) that often, which is why I have thus far preferred the online and snailmail way of renting. And when you figure in the cost of having to start/stop your vehicle 4 times (once to get there, once after you've stopped it to pick out the movie, and then this all over again for returns) most people are probably out another $3 bucks per rental for a gallon of gas.

    I am sure that for some, the extra cost of iTunes isn't going to be worth it. But for someone like me, not having to go down to the grocery store will be worth it. The big issue I see though is not with the pricing (plus, its hard to imagine that it will actually be only $2 for current releases; I'm sure Blockbuster would have a fit it is), its with the the rental period. Hopefully, the 24 hours thing is only initiated once you start watching the movie. Because if it takes 30 minutes to an hour to download a movie, and if within that 30 minutes something comes up and you aren't able to view it either that day or the next night, then the rental would have been wasted. What I hope they do is that you can keep the download for at least 30 days and can watch it as many times as you like within a single 24 period during that time.

  1. bloggerblog

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: simon2

    it does not take from 30min to an hour to download a 1.5GB movie. For the current quality it takes 1:30 for an average size 1.5GB movie to download on a 10Mbps connection. If Apple ups its quality to HD it would take at-least 3:00 per movie.

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