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Breaking: iTunes Movie Rentals, Apple TV Take 2

MACWORLD KEYNOTE, SAN FRANCISCO: Steve Jobs is getting into the video stuff now. Here are the details:

iTunes movie rentals

– Launches today in U.S., as software update to iTunes, iPods, and iPhones; international later this year
– Every major studio participating
– Library title will cost $2.99, new release $3.99
– Launching with over 1000 movies by the end of February, will have films 30 days after DVD release

– Can watch anywhere — Macs, PCs, all current iPods and iPhone
– You can watch instantly, in less than 30 seconds on broadband
– 30 day rental, 24 hours to finish — as many times as you want within 24 hours
– Can transfer films to another device in the middle of watching — e.g. if you have flight to catch, want to finish on iPod
– Participants: Touchstone, MGM, Miramax, Lionsgate, New Line Cinema, Twentieth Century Fox, WB, Walt Disney, Paramount Universal, Sony Pictures
– update on prior offerings: 125 million TV shows, 7 million movies sold to date (Jobs: “That’s way more than everyone put together but it did not meet our expectations. We think there’s a better way”.

Updated Apple TV

– No computer is required
– New price: $229
– Free software upgrade to existing owners
– Shipping in two weeks
– HD movies w/ dolby 5.1: 100 titles in HD, “and this is going to build very very fast”
– Podcasts — audio and video
– Photos from Flickr and .mac, can go right over the Internet; can play your videos uploaded to .mac too; Flickr doesn’t work while Jobs is demoing this
– Can buy and rent TV and movies, play iTunes content
– recommendations (others who rented this also rented)
– over 50 million video streams from YouTube
– Jim Gianopulos, president and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox, just came on stage and fawned about Apple, talked about “choice, access, convenience, control, portability.” Digital copy of movie included with DVDs starting today.

19 Responses to “Breaking: iTunes Movie Rentals, Apple TV Take 2”

  1. I agree with Matt on many levels. It’s sort of like us film composers trying to make a living doing small to medium independent films not being able to break through the mainstream. I understand from Danny Elfman that the major writers are like a pack of dogs when a new feature is announced.

  2. Hi there Expert, I fell blessed that I found your post while searching for movie stills. I agree with you on the subject g: iTunes Movie Rentals, Apple TV Take 2 « NewTeeVee. I was just thinking about this matter last Sunday.

  3. We have a choice

    a) continue to use scaffolding like Apple is to prop up the existing media value system to try to reverse the obvious decay of TV, decay of Film (in theatre, on DVD), and decay of Music.

    b) innovate and reinvent the media value system – redesign the way TV / Film / Music is produced and experienced.

    The interests of the viewers/listeners, networks and creative talent are not aligned.

    We can sit on the sidelines and come up with new products and services to support the incremental and frankly insipid evolution of media. Or we can challenge the fundamental economic principles and architect new foundations.

    What would you rather be doing?

  4. It will be very interesting to see how soon it goes international and how much it’ll cost. I also hope that you’ll be able to choose ANY language that you want for the subtitles. I live in Sweden but would love Chinese subtitles for my Taiwanese girlfriend.

  5. @Matt,

    It’s not a matter of someone writing the code/website to do a subscription site, one has to get licenses from the major studios to do so. To date, studios are not interested in doing this. Maybe one could with some limited Indie content, but that wouldn’t get too far in the marketplace.

  6. Matt Hendry

    All these download to rent services have failed for one reason or another .

    Apple might have better luck because they also sell hardware that Supports the service .

    My take is that someone needs to take on Netflix with a online model based on Subscriptions with new release movies that expire after a month this would be more convenient than DVDs in the Mail .

    A certain amount of movies (like 8) per month would be a good start .