Analyst on Apple’s 99-cent TV show rentals: ‘Not viable; we don’t have high hopes for it at all’

Apple Online Store“A Bloomberg report indicated Apple is in talks with News Corp. to let iTunes users rent TV shows for 99 cents,” Gabriel Perna reports for IBTimes. “The rental period would be for 48 hours, much like it is with movies. The report also said CBS Corp., NBC Universal and Walt Disney are in talks with Apple as well to get their TV shows in on this potential deal. It said Apple has plans to unveil the new offering [September 1st] at a media event in San Francisco.”

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“Arash Amel, research director of digital media at research company Screen Digest, said even if this offering comes to fruition, users will continue to go to Hulu and Netflix for online TV,” Perna reports. “‘The reality is the market for consumer-based internet TV is either subscription,’ as with cable channels, ‘or free [advertising-supported]. TV show rentals for 99 cents against streaming Netflix or free Hulu services is not viable. We don’t have high hopes for it at all,’ Amel said.”

“Amel said renting model has failed in the past — Apple failed to convince studios to slash rates for their content ahead of the iPad launch, and they didn’t manage to create a subscription-based service for iTunes, though it has been rumored for years,” Perna reports. “Despite the sway of the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, Amel said there is no reason for the situation to change. ‘The model they are employing doesn’t fit for the TV, it hasn’t worked anywhere except with movies where there’s a history of rental transactions,’ he added.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re going to take the road that’s obviously far less traveled and actually wait for Apple to announce something before we analyze it.


  1. I think 99 cents to rent a half hour show makes about as much sense as 4.99 for an iPad magazine. Watch two hours of TV a day cost you 60 a month and you can’t even Tivo it? Not a good plan for my household.

  2. The blogosphere has done a collective yawn about 99 cent rentals, and most everyone can go back to sleep.

    Meanwhile, in Cupertino, the controlled “leak” of this trial ballon has achieved its intended purpose…ammunition to convince the studios to give iTunes, and hence consumers, a better deal than this.

    Don’t think this stuff doesn’t get out for a reason.

  3. No interest in .99 tv show rentals.

    I’d only buy an iTV for the apps and photo/music features. Unless Apple can improve upon the Tivo experience, I’d rather it remain a device with a different intended purpose.

    Sucks that the studios won’t play ball.

  4. Tend to agree with HughB. While cable is all f*cked up and you end up not watching 95% of what it offers, I don’t see the point in renting shows. I know you could watch them when you want, but if you tape or Tivo you can do that. I may be missing something and all will be revealed in good time, but this might be a hard sell.

  5. 99 cents the rental could not be possible? The movie already paid for it self in the movie theaters, they don’t have to have a physical office to rent it, you don’t have to pay personnel to watch out for the movies, you don’t have to pay for the physical media any more. What is it that is impossible? damm greedy people.

  6. Why would I want to rent something that will cost me almost as much as just purchasing the entire season on DVD when it comes out?

    Why would I rent when I can just get Hulu Plus for $10 a month and have unlimited ‘rentals’?

    If that’s the model Apple is gonna propose, and perhaps its not, it’ll be a failure too.

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