RUMOR: Apple to surprise WWDC with iTunes movie rentals

“With three weeks until Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Think Secret has learned exclusively that CEO Steve Jobs will use his keynote address to announce the debut of movie rentals through the iTunes Music Store. While the announcement will undoubtedly be billed as a further extension of iTunes’ dominance in digital media downloads, it represents a coup for the movie industry, which will have succeeded in standing its ground against Apple’s pressures to offer consumers the option of owning movie downloads,” Ryan Katz reports for Think Secret.

MacDailyNews Note: Steve Jobs’ WWDC keynote presentation is scheduled for Monday, August 7, 2006, beginning at 10am PDT.

“Because the movies will be rented to consumers and not sold, people familiar with the situation report downloads will be coded with a date stamp that will restrict playback,” Katz reports. “‘We knew that Steve [Jobs] saw the rental model as the only viable option,’ a person familiar with the situation said. ‘We knew it was a matter of time before he signed on. The subscription business makes sense for everybody. We’ll all make money. But more importantly, it’s a different beast from music and no one—not even Steve Jobs—is blind to that.'”

More in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We listen to songs over and over, but how often do we watch most movies? Once, maybe twice, if we liked it, right? For the small number of favorite flicks that we want to view more than once or twice, we buy the DVD. People consume music differently than they do feature films. For that reason, we think this rumor, if true, sounds like it has a good chance for success. Now, do we get a new “true” video iPod on which to watch these films or do we have to wait a bit longer for that?

Related articles:
Apple trying to negotiate movie-download price with studios – July 14, 2006
RUMOR: Apple to unveil ‘Mac Pro’ with new enclosure design, Intel Core 2 Duo at WWDC next month – July 03, 2006
Does Apple face delivery issue if they want to sell movies via iTunes Store? – June 28, 2006
Warner Bros. to distribute movies on – June 27, 2006
CEO Steve Jobs to preview Mac OS X ‘Leopard’ with team of Apple execs at WWDC 2006 keynote – June 26, 2006
BusinessWeek: Apple agreement with movie studios for iTunes Store unlikely any time soon – June 21, 2006
Apple prepares debut of full-length feature films via iTunes Store in time for 2006 holiday season – June 20, 2006
Report: Movie studios flatly reject Apples’ proposed $9.99 pricing for feature films via iTunes – June 19, 2006
Report: Apple in negotiations with movie studios; $9.99 feature films coming to iTunes soon? – June 19, 2006
Disney to sell movies over Internet via CinemaNow in Windows Media Video format – June 05, 2006
Warner Bros. to sell movies and TV shows via BitTorrent – May 09, 2006
Universal launches film download/DVD service in UK – March 23, 2006
If Front Row can stream movie trailers from Apple, why not whole movies? – January 06, 2006
BusinessWeek: Movie studios need to smarten up and let Apple sell their movies – or be left behind – October 18, 2005
Universal to put its movies online – October 06, 2005


  1. Children watch movies repeatedly, but not so much adults. Especially lo-rez iPod-sized movies. And HD-sized movies are going to be too big for the pipeline for a while yet. Discs still have a place in our world – for now.

  2. I’d prefer time-restricted playback rather than a finite number of viewings – if only to enable viewing across multiple occasions (interruptions, falling asleep, etc…)

    Ideally, the clock would not start ticking until you start the first viewing – rather than ticking the moment you click “buy now” on the Music Store.

  3. Yeah I guess this makes sense, but I’m curious how they’re going to settle the size problem. Heck, it still takes about 90 minutes to get a 700 Mb file at ordinary DSL speeds. It’s not quite the “on demand” service that the cable guys are offering.


    Steve Jobs will not be using the developers conference to debut a consumer movie renting service.

    Renting movies is the right way to go for iTunes, however the WWDC is not the right event to debut such a service.

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