Apple to Enter Video Rental Market

The worlds of downloadable music and downloadable video are two very different beasts. While downloading a track for $.99 or an album for $9.99 to keep forever from iTunes makes sense, downloading a film for $9.99 or $12.99 makes less sense, as most consumers will watch a movie only once, and listen to music again and again. This disparity has created a need for a video on demand rental service, one that Apple may soon enter this Fall, if a news story from the Financial Times, which appeared Sunday, pans out to be true.

According to the Financial Times, Apple is in the process of negotiating with multiple movie studios to debut a film rental service underneath the iTunes umbrella. The story states that Apple would offer video downloads for $2.99 for 30 days of use. After a consumer was done watching the video, they could delete it from their hard drive.

The addition of a video rental service becomes, for me, the missing piece that could catapult the Apple TV to real stardom. While the DRM-encoded films could be copied to a customer’s iPod or iPhone, the true video experience for watching film is on the wide screen. Bringing iTunes video rentals to your living room via the Apple TV is what the device was born to do.

By debuting a movie rental service, Apple could finally take on Netflix, Comcast, Amazon and the rest in a big way.

More of my previous comments on Apple and the dramatic effect the company could have on the video rental market can be found in the below links.

TAB: How Will Apple Compete With “On Demand”? How Apple Could Crush Netflix Now The Apple TV Debate is Upside Down What is the True Value of an Entertainment Download?