NPD report see kiosks issue almost half of disc rentals
People still rent more movies on DVD and Blu-ray than streaming and video-on-demand services combined, according to an NPD Group report. In the first half of the year, 62 percent of all movie rentals in the US stemmed from discs supplied by brick-and-mortar shops, kiosks and mail-order services. Kiosk use has increased by five percent, now taking up 45 percent of the physical-media rental market.
Universal to trial $60 rental of Tower Heist
Comcast, the parent company of Universal Pictures, is testing a new premium home movie rental concept that will see customers being able to rent a film that is currently screening only in theaters. However, there will be a catch for the privilege – a $60 price tag. The test will center on the new Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller comedy Tower Heist that is due November 4.
Platform revamped for Windows Phone update
Microsoft has released an updated version of its Zune software that works as a companion utility for Windows Phone handsets and the company's media players. Version 4.8 is mostly focused on under-the-hood changes that bring support for the upcoming Windows Phone update, known as Mango. Users that have not kept up to date with their WP7 software will only need to click the update button once to install multiple updates.
Questions geared toward video distribution
Apple has reportedly begun surveying iTunes customers to gather feedback regarding their experiences with the store, according to iLounge. Questions in the e-mail, titled "Tell us how you like iTunes," are said to be geared specifically toward movie rentals and purchases.
iTunes UK gets movies
Confirming earlier reports, Apple on Wednesday began offering film downloads and rentals to UK customers and doubled the period to watch rented movies from 24 hours to 48 hours. Movies from major film studios including 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, MGM, Sony Pictures and Lionsgate UK are now available on the iTunes Store in the UK. Unlike the same day as DVD deal announced in early May in the US, the UK deal also includes titles from MGM. Apple said the iTunes Store in the UK features over 700 films available for rent or purchase, with titles available for purchase on the same day as their DVD release, including Hitman, I Am Legend, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets and Into the Wild. iTunes UK also features over 100 titles available for rent.
Apple fails to deliver
Apple promised the world in mid-January that 1,000 iTunes movie rentals would arrive at the company's iTunes Store by the end of February, but those rentals were still missing in action on the last day of last month. Macworld quotes Apple's statement during the Macworld Expo in San Francisco earlier this year: "iTunes Movie Rentals launches today and will offer over 1,000 titles by the end of February, including over 100 titles in stunning high definition video with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound which users can rent directly from their widescreen TV using Apple TV."
24hr film rental bug fixed
Apple has corrected an issue where users were able to circumvent iTunes' 24 hour time-limit on its new movie rentals service. Earlier today Gizmodo reported that changing the system time -- on either Windows-based PC or a Mac -- by moving it forward or rolling it back, effectively allowed users to continue to watch the movie past the designated 24-hour period. In a follow-up report, Gizmodo notes that Apple has now disabled the circumvention technique by adding an additional check in iTunes. Changing the date/time, now yields a 5103 error from iTunes, according to the report.