iTunes Movie, TV Show Rentals Are On The Way

Unless you enjoy buying TV show episodes on iTunes and watching them over and over, you’d probably rather save some money and rent the videos instead. According to the anonymous whispers in the ear of Bloomberg, $1, 48-hour iTunes video rentals from Fox, Disney and other giants are on the way.

The story also says a new iPod Touch — blessed with iPhone 4-caliber screen resolution — is coming, as is a scaled-down version of Apple TV that costs $99.

Do you buy iTunes movies and TV shows, and would you rather rent them?

Apple Said to Prepare New 99-Cent TV Show Rental Service [Bloomberg]

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  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Wired has an interesting piece about cutting cable – their numbers are totally off, though. Wired based the calculations on someone spending $130+ a month on cable. Sure, if you spend $130 a month, spending $2 a show is a deal. But we only do basic cable, and the savings would have been about $10 a month. And we didn’t even count sports.

    We don’t rent iTunes movies or TV shows because we have Netflix (and patience) and cable, but I could see how it would be something we would do if we didn’t have Netflix. Netflix would still be a lot cheaper per movie, though.

    • Southern says:

      I think $1-$2 each is totally outrageous, personally. That’s more than most channels charge for an entire MONTH of programming (on an a’la-carte basis), and when you stop and consider that you have to buy an entire MONTHS worth of shows, you could be spending $4-$10 a month for a single TV show.

      I.E., if you follow WareHouse 13, there can be as many as 5 episodes per month on the Sy-Fy channel. Then add another $4-$10 for Eureka, etc.. It wouldn’t take many shows to add up to cost more than cable itself..

  2. Angus99 says:

    We’ve been buying them, and would definitely rather rent the TV shows. Movies could go either way.

  3. dolemite says:

    I dunno…depends on the show. $1 doesn’t sound bad for an episode of True Blood, but when you get something like Simpsons or Family guy, where the show runs more like 20 min without commercials…I’d think .50 is a better price.

  4. jason in boston says:

    $.99 is still too much. I only have clear QAM. It has to be $1 per network, then we are talking. For me, this is a sweet spot where the cost

    • jason in boston says:

      Why doesn’t consumerist like my chrome?

      What I meant to say: the $1 per network

      • jason in boston says:

        I can’t use less than signs?

        $1 per network is less than the hassle of Hulu and Torrents/Newsgroups. Any more than $1 per network and torrents with Hulu is just easier.

        • Xenotype51 says:

          Since the less-than sign is used in HTML markup, they probably strip these types of symbols from the comments. Try ampersand-L-T-semicolon.

          <<<<<<<<<

  5. ShruggingGalt says:

    I thought you could already rent movies….

    TV shows, no…but movies yes.

    • fatediesel says:

      Yeah, you can already rent movies. There’s no reason for movies to be mentioned in the title or article since they are already available for rental.

  6. Murph1908 says:

    For some, this will be a reason to drop some premium channel subscriptions. If you only get/got HBO to watch Deadwood, Rome, Boardwalk Empire, or whatever series they are running, it would cost you $20 a season, instead of $10 a month to get to see them.

    You could pay the $1 per episode for Entourage, and still come out ahead of a full subscription.

    • fatediesel says:

      HBO (and Showtime) doesn’t all their shows to be rented on Itunes until months after the show airs. They also likely won’t agree to the rental model. They already forced Itunes to charge a higher price for their shows, it’s unlikely they’d agree to cheaper rentals.

    • MMD says:

      I would absolutely rent “Big Love” if HBO would allow it. I wonder if the gain in customers like me would offset the potential loss in subscriptions. I’m guessing HBO doesn’t want to make that bet…

  7. kiltman says:

    I think this would be good for trips. Planes, foreign countries where I can’t download a movie but may want one to kill time…Ok, maybe just on planes. Last time I did that was @5 to rent a digital movie from blockbuster. You get it for 24 hours. Would definitely go for $1.

  8. marillion says:

    I just wish netflix would hurry up with that Ipod Touch app.. The Ipad version has been out a couple months..

    I guess I could see renting TV shows once in a while, but $1 is a bit high when you can get a lot of those shows on Netflix for instant view.

  9. zandar says:

    the curmudgeon in me simply has to ask: Do you iPhone and Touch users actually enjoy watching movies on tiny screens?

    But for my Mac Mini attatched to a nice big screen, yeah, rentals would be welcome.

    • j_rose says:

      I thought I would, but I loaded some tv shows and movies on my iPhone months ago and have never found a time to watch them. I could do it at lunch break, but I tend to go through my feed reader instead.

      • fatediesel says:

        I don’t like watching movies on my Ipod Touch but it’s convenient when I’m flying or riding long distances, although I think I’m going to get a netbook for that. I would never pay the prices itunes charges though, I only watch movies I buy on Blu-ray that contain a digital copy.

      • RevancheRM says:

        I run on the gym’s treadmill, watching the shows or movies I want to watch (rather than what is broadcast on the gym tvs at the time I’m there).

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t like exercising, and watching something on my phone or reading lets me exercise without getting really bored and stopping 10 minutes into my exercise routine.

    • MMD says:

      It’s definitely not my favorite way to watch anything, but it’s great for plane travel.

  10. JohnDeere says:

    red box does it for $1 and they have to buy disks. i think the price is too high.

  11. dreamfish says:

    The idea would be more attractive to me if it wasn’t time limited but viewing-count limited. For example, you could take a long as you liked to watch it (say up to a maximum of six months) but once watched, you couldn’t see it again without paying. That would solve the problem of being forced to watch it asap.

    Also, you need to factor in any download costs from your provider – unless you’re supposed to download it on your PC and transfer it to the phone.

  12. Short_Circuit_City says:

    I remember the first time this was done; it was called Div X.

  13. esc27 says:

    My cable/sat bill is ~$55
    I watch ~10 hours of TV a week typically about six 30 minute shows and seven 1 hour long shows.
    So 13 shows total each month being at least 4 weeks -> $52.

    Which is the better deal? $55 per month to watch as much programming as I want (from a limited selection of channels) or $3 less to watch only 13 shows (assuming all are even available.)

    Make it $1 per hour instead of per show (so $0.50 for a 30 min show) and it gets slightly tempting.

    Make it less than $0.75 per hour, make some episodes free (to demo new shows,) include some discount programming (for time wasting when nothing good is available,) and its gets compelling.

    • Rousedower says:

      That’s assuming that the only way to watch the show you like is either via cable or buying/renting on iTunes or Amazon or some other service. I guess it just depends on one’s viewing habits. I dumped cable a year ago and have since bought a total of 4 television seasons on iTunes: two seasons each of Mad Men and Top Chef. Almost everything else I’ve wanted to watch I did for free–either over the air or via Hulu or a television network’s website.

  14. Talisker says:

    As long as the shows are commercial free, I’m there. I’d rather spend my money renting shows without commercials than spending money to watch shows with commercials. I spent the money to watch Lost on iTunes because the show was so much better without commercials and the overlaid ads.

  15. OneBigPear says:

    Yes… this was my main beef about TV shows on iTunes. I wanted to watch them once, not buy them and keep them forever.

  16. OddBaldLiberal says:

    Fine, I can rent a video as a digital download. Since Apple is refusing to add the ability to burn Blu-Ray in their computers, does that mean that eventually, Blu-Ray will be the last iteration of physical media for movie delivery? Does that mean that if I want to own a movie, I’ll have to download it and store it forever?

    All of these models assume that particular digital delivery systems will always be available, and that we will have to spend a pretty endless amount of money to back up our digital stuff.

    I prefer atoms over bits.

  17. mike says:

    I think commercial-supported tv shows are slowly dieing. Probably won’t happen in my lifetime (i’m 28) but I see it happening in the future. Too many people either skip or not pay attention to commercials. Most ads are annoying.

    I think the most difficult obstical is convincing people to pay for each individual show. I think a great idea would be like a package deal where you can pay a flat rate for your favorite shows within a network.

  18. D-Train says:

    Not going to rent for $0.99 when the purchase price is $1.99. That’s just dumb. (Even if the idea of “ownership” on that $1.99 file is a little tenuous.)

    if the comparison is $0.99 to rent and $2.99 to buy HD is even still a little tough.

  19. Outrun1986 says:

    This would be good if you only turn on the TV to watch a few specific shows. However you can probably find most of these shows for free streaming online if you just look enough. If you only watch a few specific shows then its probably gonna be a deal for some people and will help people cut out ridiculous cable bills. It depends on your viewing habits really.

    Cable is looking more and more like a dinosaur now.

  20. FacebookAppMaker says:

    $1 per episode or $1 per season?

    $1/episode makes no sense in some cases.

    Take this season of stargate: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewTVSeason?id=270074584&s=143455

    Cost: $21.99 (I’m using the canadian store) for 20 episodes. That’s $20 to rent each episode of that season, which is a mere $1.99 in savings.

  21. Duckula22 says:

    Open technologies rule!