So far, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has described Apple TV “coyly as a ‘hobby,'” David Zeiler blogs for The Baltimore Sun.
“One thing Apple has proven in recent years is that it often can succeed where others have foundered, such as with the iPod or its chain of retail stores. Solving video over the Internet is exactly the sort of challenge Apple relishes,” Zeiler writes. “Apple now can put its experience as a video vendor to use as it crafts the most user-friendly option for consuming video over the Internet.”
“The move to rentals makes complete sense, and probably was inevitable. In the years Apple has dabbled in offering video downloads, it has learned that fewer people want to own video than do music,” Zeiler writes.
“The deal with Fox shows Apple is serious about getting video right. The content, according to the Financial Times of London, will be new. It will be encoded with Apple’s FairPlay digital rights management software, but it should play on Macs, iPods, iPhones and on a TV via Apple TV. In other words, users will be able to watch the rented video pretty much on a variety of devices, unlike other services that restrict the user to a single device,” Zeiler explains. “Apple is even licensing FairPlay to Fox for use on its DVDs. This will allow the video to be ripped legally to a computer for transfer to a video-capable iPod or iPhone.”
Zeiler writes, “The millions of handheld video-capable devices Apple has sold over the past few years surely supplied a major piece of leverage in securing this deal. In the case of the iPhone and iPod Touch, one could download the content directly to the device through iTunes. What studio wouldn’t want a piece of this action?”
“Apple isn’t far from having a killer video strategy. It has most of the pieces in place already. It just needs to bridge the gaps and then integrate those pieces as only Apple knows how,” Zeiler writes. “Then watch how fast Apple’s ‘hobby’ disrupts the entire movie rental industry.”
Full article – recommended – here.