Rumor Battered: Hollywood Poo-Poos on Apple's Movie Rental Plan

Illustration for article titled Rumor Battered: Hollywood Poo-Poos on Apple's Movie Rental Plan

The briefly ballyhooed iTunes movie rental store did sound a bit too good to be true. While multiple sources confirm Apple's feeler, the flipside is that the movie studios aren't exactly smitten, according to Reuters. $2.99 for 30 days? Preposterous, sneers Hollywood. Easy portability to your iPod or iPhone? Poppycock.

Advertisement

Given that the movie download market is still in its relative infancy, Hollywood believes that they don't "need to rush into a deal with Apple." Fools rush in, true—but look at what came of the music industry's reticence to embrace new avenues of distribution.

Moreover, that ever present fear, cannibalization, is also at play, with the studios wringing their hands over the possibility of losing the coin that trickles in from standard PPV. Not to mention that at $2.99, the fee would undercut pretty much everyone else in the game.

What to do, what to do? If Apple wants a rental store, the smart money would point in its favor, though the terms might not be as favorable as we initially heard. On the other hand, smartly leveraging Apple TV (perhaps with a few other tricks up its sleeve) might make the deal too tasty for Hollywood to pass up. What do you guys think?

Hollywood balks at Apple online movie rentals [Yahoo!/Reuters]

DISCUSSION

Wow! I think you guys are missing a very important point here. This deals shows once again how Apple is really thinking about how people use their content and are in tune with the reality of people's modern lifestyles. Most people are extremely busy juggling careers, family, friends etc...

Maybe you college students who have plenty of time to sit around and play video games online until the wee hours of the morning may not think that 30 days is reasonable, but for a working stiff like myself who has 3 kids and a hell of a lot of overtime on the job, 30 days seems like heaven.

People claiming that Apple is just in it to make money are idiots. Of course they are! Do you know of any company that goes into business to lose money? But at $2.99, I think we know where most of that money will be going should Hollywood accept the deal. The point is, that even though Apple may make a small profit, they are thinking of the consumer in the long run. If they get Hollywood to agree to this landmark deal, it will be we, the consumer who benefits from it the most. In the same way that Apple got the music industry to sell us songs for $0.99 online, they are now attempting to get Hollywood to make it convenient for us to buy content, watch it at our own convenience (being to watch it on one portable device is a stroke of genius), and all at a reasonable price.

If you really think about all the content that's out there today, $2.99 will add up very quickly, especially if you have a large family. Everyone will want to have their own rental choices. For my family, that would mean five people. That will be a lot of money alloted out of our family budget just for content rental. But as always, idiots and Hollywood (sometimes one and the same) are always focused the small picture, while Apple is always focused on the larger scope of things. That's why I think they are the most innovative company on the planet today. They understand the modern lifestyle.

Just like the music industry balked when Apple tried to convince them that people would be willing to pay for content online legally if given the choice, or that a music device with a large capacity hard drive would sell well (remember before the iPod, mp3 players had only enough memory to carry a couple of dozen songs at the most, even at low conversion rates), now Hollywood is getting a lesson on what people want and I dare say "need", from Apple. Now that cheap music and large capacity music devices have become the norm, how many of you who benefit from those innovations (whether or not you own the iPod or another music player, use iTunes or another download store) stop to think about what Apple has accomplished for your benefit. The point is, if Apple hadn't struck that landmark deal and developed that landmark device, we'd still be in the music dark ages.

Instead of complaining, we need to give Apple as much support as we possible can when they go up against the industry, because ultimately, they are one the few companies out there that truly understands the concept "digital lifestyle" and they are one of very few that fight for the rights of us the consumer, to use content conveniently and at a reasonable price.