After months and months of Apple TV owners, including myself, decrying Apple’s lack of an iTunes movie rental strategy, which would add great value to the device, it appears the company is going to get the users what we want. According to the Financial Times, Apple has struck a deal with 20th Century Fox that not only brings the company’s movies to iTunes, but offers the ability to rent films for a short time, and in an industry first, enable the company’s DVDs to be ripped to iPods.
While Apple has comparatively set the music world ablaze with iTunes, its venture into TV and film has been less successful. Meanwhile, adoption of the Apple TV has been lukewarm at best, highlighted mostly by Apple’s not releasing sales figures, and CEO Steve Jobs dismissively calling the device a hobby. Most of the discourse, from traditional media, and from the blogosphere, has called for Apple to better tie iTunes with the Apple TV, by adding the ability to rent films. And today, we finally get the first solid confirmation that this is happening.
While 20th Century Fox is the first studio to be named as having signed with Apple, it is by no means the only studio being courted. The Financial Times also reports Sony Pictures, Paramount and Warner Brothers are in talks with Apple to offer their movies for purchase and rental.
Details of the anticipated MacWorld 2008 announcement are slim thus far. It is anticipated the rentals will be available to customers for viewing in a 1-3 day period, for a few dollars apiece.