updated 01:05 pm EST, Tue January 15, 2008
iTunes movie rentals
Apple CEO Steve Jobs today launched movie rentals via the company's iTunes Store. Disney, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate and New Line Cinema are confirmed as being on-board, as are Fox, Sony, Warner Bros., Paramount and Touchstone -- bringing "every major studio" into the equation, according to Jobs. The companies have agreed to offer their movies to iTunes customers on a rent-to-watch basis, with people paying $2.99 and $3.99, respectively, for old and new standard-definition releases, or $3.99 and $4.99 for HD-quality titles. New releases consist of titles arriving 30 days after their retail DVD shipment.
The company plans to have 1,000 titles available by February, which will be viewable in both an instant streaming and a downloadable form. Users can moreover start streaming a rental and then finish watching it later, on their Mac, Apple TV, iPod or iPhone, syncing via iTunes. After purchase however, users have 30 days to start viewing a movie, and must then finish watching it within 24 hours.
To access rentals, people must download the latest version of the iTunes software, which is available today for customers in the US.