Blog Post

Apple cancels iTunes TV rentals

Despite its role as a major selling point of the revamped Apple TV (s aapl) last fall, Apple has done away with TV show rentals. Several bloggers noticed the option to rent individual episodes missing from iTunes and Apple TV Friday, and Apple later confirmed the decision was based on lack of interest.

“iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told AllThingsD Friday. “iTunes in the Cloud lets customers download and watch their past TV purchases from their iOS devices, Apple TV, Mac or PC allowing them to enjoy their programming whenever and however they choose.”

Very few TV studios were on board with the idea in the first place–only Fox (s nws) and ABC(s dis)–so this isn’t a huge change. But now the only option in iTunes when it comes to TV shows is to buy. You can buy a full season or “Season Pass,” or if you want to cherry pick a season, you can still buy individual episodes.

8 Responses to “Apple cancels iTunes TV rentals”

  1. I think Apple is just hunting for the right formula. The ideal in my opinion would look just like your Cable TV channel guide but with an extra button on each line “subscribe/unsubscribe”.

    Roku/Netflix/Hulu Plus is a start. Eventually someone will give us the ideal A la carte platform and change the entire
    industry. It might take a Napster like company to do it.

  2. Scott Jensen

    There was lack of interest in their … prices. They were just more expensive than the competition. I guess Apple doesn’t know how to price things when they don’t monopolize the product.

  3. Matt Liotta

    I rented very few shows in comparison to the ones I bought. The reason wasn’t lack of interest; it was lack of selection.

    If they really want to gauge interest, they should allow us to pre-buy/rent seasons.

    • Vasken Hauri

      @Matt, I have to agree with you on the lack of selection. Also, when compared with services like Netflix, the price was just too high–real-time access to content is only important to me when watching sports, so getting a show slightly earlier for an additional cost was never an appetizing option, even after I bought an Apple TV.

  4. This sucks…I really thought they were on to something and that renting the shows was the first step toward doing away with the mess that is cable/satellite tv…to say we overwhelmingly want to buy when only two networks were offered – and summer at that – seems very short-sighted to me