How much will Apple’s iTunes movie rentals cost and how will they work?

“If earlier reports are accurate, Steve Jobs will soon be in the movie rental business,” Dan Frommer reports for Silicon Alley Insider.

Frommer asks some yet-unanswered questions, including:

How much will rentals cost? In June, when the FT said Apple was in “advanced talks with Hollywood’s largest movie studios” to offer rentals, the price was $2.99 for a 30-day period. Most Amazon Unbox rentals range from 99 cents to $3.99 for a 24-hour viewing period. Our cable company usually wants $3 to $5 for an on-demand rental. Apple’s current iTunes movies from Disney cost about $10 to buy.

Can you rent to own?

Will rented movies play via the Apple TV?

Will Apple sell or rent movies via its Wi-Fi iTunes store for iPhones and iPod touches?

Will Apple offer HD movies for sale or for rent?

How will Blockbuster, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Sony, cable, telco, and cellphone companies, and other rivals respond? Apple’s iPod line dominates the portable media player market, and the iPhone is taking a big chunk of the smartphone market. And now, it appears, there will finally be digital rentals compatible with Apple’s gadgets. Surely Jobs’ rivals haven’t been sitting around doing nothing. How will they fight back? Lower rental prices? More portability/less DRM? This should be a fun one!

Full article here.

A quick look at the smartphone and digital media player markets show quite clearly that Blockbuster, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Sony, cable, telco, cellphone companies, and other potential rivals most certainly could have been and still are sitting around doing nothing. Sounds like a new group of companies are about to get run over by Apple. At least they can ask those who’ve been already pancaked by Apple’s iPod+iTunes+iPhone (Microsoft, Sony, Motorola, etc.) how it’ll feel.

42 Comments

  1. I hope that Apple does not restrict film rentals solely to owners of AppleTV.

    Considering current technological options, what are the estimated times to download a 2 hour film? What is the maximum time that the majority of consumers will be willing to wait to place an order then begin watching a film?

    macnutt222:
    I also hope that Apple limits cost of rentals to $4.00 for new releases and $2.00 for films greater than six months post release.

  2. I just noticed that some of the music videos in my cart are now $1.49 rather than $1.99. For $12 bucks I can purchase 8 rather than 6 videos.

    As for rentals, I don’t care much about new releases. I have numerous documentary films & older films in my NetFlix queue right now. I pay $14/month and watch about 10-12 films per month.

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