Note to Netflix and Blockbuster: Apple’s iPod has killed before. It will kill again.

“Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs’ tiny iPod has turned his company into a category killer for the digital era–first wiping out music stores and now, potentially, the corner video store,” Brian Caulfield writes for Forbes.

“Starting in mid-January, the Cupertino, Calif., computer and gadget maker will take on Blockbuster and Netflix by renting movies from Fox on its iTunes digital media store, according to a report first published in the Financial Times earlier this week,” Caulfield writes.

Apple’s iPods “now have a proven record of disruption,” Caulfield writes. “Amazon rents movies to users of PCs and TiVos via its UnBox service [and] Microsoft is even offering digital movie rentals on its XBox 360 game console. Neither company, however, poses the same threat to DVD rental companies as Apple, which has an installed base of more than 100 million digital media devices that consumers carry in their pockets… Video rentals could surely revive [the company’s Apple TV] effort.”

Caulfield writes, “Despite Apple’s movie rental push, Blockbuster and Netflix won’t disappear tomorrow… Still, their days might be numbered: The iPod has killed before. It will kill again.”

Full article here.


  1. Most people are not going to watch FULL-LENGTH rental movies on an iPod. Apple’s advantage here is not the installed base of iPods, but the installed base of iTunes software. If Apple does release an iTunes video rental service at MacWorld, Apple TV is sure to become much more prominent in Apple’s product line-up and marketing.

  2. In addition, Apple has the most elegant and graceful foundation for allowing most of us to access content. These days I seldom go upstairs to the living room to watch television or a movie on the giant flatscreen HDTV.

    Instead I watch it on my computer. I’m always downstairs working. So I have work up on one monitor and video up on another.

    I believe though that Netflix compliments my lifestyle. A movie comes in the mail, I pop it into the machine, rip it, put it back in the envelope and send it back to Nextflix.

    Someday I might even get around to watching it.

  3. I agree with G Spank, however, I think that at a certain point, even the HD won’t be necessary. The video will be stored on massive Apple servers and simply streamed to the masses of hungry eyes out there.

  4. ken1w,
    While I agree that “most people” won’t watch full length movies on an ipod…I think you’d be quite surprised at how many
    1. Watch them while travelling or in transit
    2. Watch them on a television with some simple cables
    3. Watch them through Apple TV
    4. Watch them on an iPhone
    5. WILL watch them on their computer and/or Apple Tablet

    My dentist for example has a PC laptop and an iPhone. He travels all the time (his bills to me are high!)…and watches movies on his iPhone. It’s actually not a bad experience (the audio makes a huge difference).

    It’s really not about “most people” in a fractured media environment. After all most people won’t do a lot of things that seem to do incredibly well financially. It’s about ENOUGH people.

  5. Netflix has already killed the corner video store.

    The question is, will Apple kill Netflix?

    Not until the network to the home gets much faster. And for many of us, the network is provided by the cable TV companies.

    The fight shall be interesting.

  6. The decline of the video store at the corner happened long ago. It occurred when the small mom and pop shops got put out of business and stores like Block Buster started littering the landscape and pasteurizing the content of the classics and new releases by eradicating scenes they deemed to be not PC or unfit for consumption by the “Moral Majority”. For my money…a pox on those guys and their selective use of content. They never gave people a choice. If Apple does do this rental deal , I suspect they will continue with the format of giving the customer a choice of “Explicit ” or “Pasteurized”. Just once I’d like to rent a video and see it as it was actually released, warts and all.

  7. I just don’t get it when people say the network to the home needs to be faster before Netflix has to worry about this. My movie downloads from iTunes average about three hours or less on a cable modem.

    How long does it take for Netflix to mail a DVD to your house? Can they do this in three hours? What am I missing here?

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