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Apple In Talks To Bring $0.99 TV Rentals To iTunes

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  • by odies (1869886) * on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:45PM (#33374500)

    $0.99 is way too much for a single episode rental. With the same price you can buy the whole season from store and get a physical product with extras too.

    Why not a subscription based service like Spotify, but for TV episodes? I would gladly pay $10 a month if I could stream any tv show and episode I wanted to. I already do for Spotify and seriously, I haven't felt the need to get mp3's since I started using it because frankly, it's just so convenient and easy. Hell, you can even offer an ad-based service too. Just have it huge library, don't delete old episodes or shows and add the new episodes there right after or when they're showing on TV.

    • by Dayze!Confused (717774) <slashdot@org.ohyonghao@com> on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:51PM (#33374600) Homepage Journal

      I was doing the math on this too and it's insane, especially for rental, to have it be $0.99. If we assume only 2 hours a day at 30 minutes per episode, that's four episodes a day. Times 30 days in a month equals 120 episodes, or $118.80. While it may be convenient for one or two episodes a month that you missed on your cable subscription, it is insanely expensive to think about.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bennomatic (691188)
        You watch too much TV.

        My list: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Lie to Me. That's three hours a week. MM and BB I buy through iTunes so that they're waiting for me to watch at a convenient time (I don't get AMC) and I watch Lie to Me on Fox.com for free. I'd probably do the same with BB and MM if they offered high quality streaming versions, but last I checked, they don't. My total is about $40/year with zero broadcast TV beyond the occasional news show or sporting event.

        When I have some spare time, I've be
        • Actually, I don't watch any TV, I was basing it off my experience with my family while growing up. They watched a ton of TV all the time and I spent my time in my room with my three computers learning how to network and program. Now my siblings struggle to pay the rent every month and I live comfortably as a programmer. Huh, go figure.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Well, I assume they'd be smart enough to have a season pass the way $0.99 songs have albums, and the price of the album is not $0.99 * number of songs. I'm guessing the $0.99 is exactly for those one episode customers. Alas, I expect this won't be available here as no TV, movies or anything of the sort is available over iTunes here. Just music...

      • by Sancho (17056) *

        Worse, really, is if 22 minutes shows cost the same as 44 minute shows.

        That said, 2 hours a day sounds like a lot. I pay about $60/mo total for my cable TV, but I bet I watch 6 hours per week. If Apple gets all of the shows I watch, rental prices would be worth it even if it's $0.99 across the board. If it's anything less for 22 minute shows, it's an even bigger win. Drop cable and save at least $12/mo? Definitely.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Plus, my cable company already give the last 2 weeks of all the popular show "On Demand" for free. Its one of the things that really makes cable better than satellite. Satellite will never be able to offer on demand programming, and this is one of the way cable stays ahead. I don't think iTunes will be able to rent that many episodes at that price. At 24 episodes a season, that's $24. It costs about $50 a season even for the hour long shows. So it really doesn't make sense to pay $24 and own nothing
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by flitty (981864)
      Actually, I'd pay $.99 for most Premium Cable Channel shows. Almost everything else I'll wait for the DVD release.
    • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:55PM (#33374658)

      With the same price you can buy the whole season from store and get a physical product with extras too.

      I don't think I've bought a non-clearance DVD of a TV season and averaged $.99 per ep.

      That's beside the point, though. Maybe you're paying that 99 cents because you've never seen the show before and you're just curious. Or maybe you're paying that because you're really into a show and happened to miss one ep.

      It's not a matter of cost, it's a matter of value. With all due respect, any geek or nerd should understand this. When have you ever heard one say: "I saved money by not upgrading my 2x CD burner. All I have to do is wait longer!"

      • >>>I don't think I've bought a non-clearance DVD of a TV season and averaged $.99 per ep.

        As with anything it depends what you buy. I just got Hercules season set for $20 or about $1 per episode. Star Trek still costs around $50 or about 2 dollars per episode..... but even then it's still a good deal because you can watch it as many times as you want over the next 10-20 years time. If you watched it four times, you've effectively reduced the cost to 50 cents

        And if you get sick of the show, you c

        • As with anything it depends what you buy. I just got Hercules season set for $20 or about $1 per episode. Star Trek still costs around $50 or about 2 dollars per episode..... but even then it's still a good deal because you can watch it as many times as you want over the next 10-20 years time. If you watched it four times, you've effectively reduced the cost to 50 cents

          And if you get sick of the show, you can sell it on ebay for about $25.... further reducing your episode cost. It's almost always cheaper to buy then rent.

          Yes, in one case, it doesn't make as much sense.

          In the case of you not being so interested in the show that you want to buy the DVD, or the DVD isn't available, or it's really the one ep you want to watch, you're wasting a ton of money to catch it.

          Having choices is better. Funny enough, that's a common theme on this site.

          • >>>Having choices is better.

            Agreed. Unless they eventually eliminate the option to buy (which many record companies and TV studios have been trying to do for years), and you have no option but a 99 cent rental. Remember DIVX discs? We're lucky it flopped but now they have a new opportunity to force us into rental-only model.

            • Agreed. Unless they eventually eliminate the option to buy (which many record companies and TV studios have been trying to do for years)

              Actually the TV and Movie industry had exactly that model for decades. It wasn't until the 80's (late 70's?) that you could purchase home movies and TV seasons on DVD is a recent thing, too. In fact, television shows on DVD have resurrected several shows.

              For all the silliness these industries have put us through, it still boils down to supply and demand.

      • I don't think I've bought a non-clearance DVD of a TV season and averaged $.99 per ep.

        You mean more than 99 per ep, right? Because I have a couple of hundred TV seasons and I'm sure I haven't ever paid more than 99 cents per episode.
        Some else mentioned the gilmore girls - all seasons are currently available for $20 each at vendors like Barnes & Noble - that's less than 50 cents an episode.
        I've bought almost all seasons of 24 and they were under $15 each at the time.
        etc
        etc

        It's not a matter of cost, it's a matter of value

        That's what the MAFIAA says... until sales fall through the floor when people actually take them at their word and re

        • That's what the MAFIAA says...

          Uh, no, that's what *I* was saying, describing my own purchasing habits. It's also the sort of purchasing decision *you* make, too. Afterall, you purchased the Gilmore Girls when you could have saved money by just watching them when the aired, right?

    • That works out to $22 for a 22 episode season, vs. over $30/season to buy box sets.

      • by timeOday (582209)
        You're equating renting to buying.

        Personally, I never re-watch shows, so renting is better. But then for 13.99/month, you can rent about 32 episodes through netflix (that's 4 DVD's per week through the 2-DVD-at-a-time plan, with 4 episodes on each DVD). And that's not counting any "watch instantly" (streaming) series you might be interested in, which are also included in that price. Selection is limited but there is some good stuff in there, e.g. Dexter seasons 1 and 2.

    • by tool462 (677306)

      I already do buy some TV shows on iTunes at the $1.99 price. The $0.99 price will probably get me to watch more shows than I do now. But neither is exactly a cheap price so I tend to only buy shows that I know I like enough to watch multiple times and aren't available through Netflix or streaming online.

      A subscription model would often be a lot more appropriate, especially for shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Currently I watch both of those on my computer for free on Comedy Central's sit

    • by Psaakyrn (838406)
      Wait... episodes at the same price as music, which are also found in episodes? I think there's more overpricing going on here..
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      So what you're saying is you'd like to have access to unlimited TV shows, as they're aired, for a quarter or less of what cable would cost you? Yeah, me too.

  • Hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mark72005 (1233572) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:49PM (#33374568)
    I don't care if people want to waste $1 per episode to watch TV.

    What I will care about is when Apple starts to exclusively lock down certain shows making them impossible to get through other services like In Demand, Netflix, etc
  • wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:51PM (#33374590)
    All the shows? From all the carriers? They all asked for exactly 99 cents? Weird! It's almost like they all got together and colluded to keep the price high or something... nah.
    • by melikamp (631205)
      In other news, torrents from all carriers and all shows remain free, DRM free, and ad free.
    • >>>They all asked for exactly 99 cents? Weird! It's almost like they all got together and colluded...

      Or more likely, they simply did what I did: Looked to see what Apple's charging, and decided to match that price for my ebay sales. It isn't always collusion - sometimes it's just using your eyes.

      Also:

      A lot of these shows, even when owned by different studios, are negotiated by the same Actors Union. It's why actors will get a fixed price per airing of an episode, whether it's shown on Sci-Fi or

  • I don't understand why anyone would pay for TV, twice. Almost everyone (atleast in the developed countries) has a TV, and already pays for it. If you miss a show today, you can catch it in just a few hours at the earliest, and a few days at the latest. Most of it is reruns, anyway. If you want to watch something, transfer it before going somewhere. Why the hell would you pay for it again?
    • by icannotthinkofaname (1480543) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:11PM (#33374898) Journal

      Why the hell would you pay for it again?

      Because you have an iProduct, a dollar, and a need for instant gratification.

    • by BonquiquiShiquavius (1598579) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:15PM (#33374966) Journal
      Unless of course, they don't pay for cable. A lot of people, myself included, are tired of the cable companies bundling/pricing schemes. I only watch 4-5 shows every season...why should I pay for the hundreds I have no interest watching? I for one love the idea of renting shows online. I think the pricing is still too high, but it's a step in the right direction. Finally some real competition in TV offerings. Maybe this will force cable companies to offer plans that favour the consumer rather than the provider.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I cancelled my sat-tv about 2 or 3 yrs ago. been on netflix since then.

        now, I only pay for shows I want and I'm not stuck with ANY bundling. yay!

        I'm not ever going back to cable to sat-tv. their business model is all wet.

        apples is also wrong, though. I don't blame them for trying, but a dollar for a watching of a tv show is insane! think about it: its already been 100.0% paid for via commercials on first run and even more than 100% on re-runs.

        in fact, the content should be 'free' by now, after its gone

        • Getting away from the cable companies in America is already pretty easy - between netflix and hulu, you're pretty much covered. Unfortunately, these services are only available in the US. Netflix apparently is coming to Canada, but without the streaming service, which is all I really want from them.
    • My DVR failed. not epically but it went out with a CLICK WHIRRRR CLICK WHIRRRRRR of hdd failure. Even if this was my box and I wasn't renting from the cableco, it still meant i fucking missed mythbusters. >:(

    • by mgblst (80109)

      Only a complete and utter moron actually pays for cable. What a fucking waste of a life. At least we know who to round up come the revolution, all the fat lazy pigs watching their tvs all days*

      (*Except for ESPN)

  • by Qubit (100461) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:10PM (#33374874) Homepage Journal

    Here's a quote from something Jobs said [apple.com], but with s/music/media/.

    Perhaps those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies towards persuading the media companies to sell their media DRM-free....Convincing them to license their media to Apple and others DRM-free will create a truly interoperable media marketplace. Apple will embrace this wholeheartedly.

    Like any big company, I think that Apple will run with a plan if it can make them money. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't have the power to get big media to distribute their content DRM-free. (And even if Apple could, would they bother?)

    • Why bother going DRM-free?

      because paying developers to keep up with new DRM requirements and patching fixes with DRM holes costs money.

      Bottom line business decision. Making users happy would be just a fringe benefit.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:15PM (#33374956)

    Netflix, all the streaming you want(if you can tolerate the drm) for $10 and dvds in the mail. I will have watched all of dexter season 4 in 1 week. That means I paid about $5 for the whole shebang as I pay around $20 a month for my 3 disc plan. Thus that is the price I am willing to pay. At ~12 episodes that works out to ~$0.42, less than half what they are suggesting. Mind you this is a Showtime show, a normal cable show might be worth half of that.

    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:23PM (#33375056)

      They've heard of Netflix. And if they are charging more per unit viewed than Netflix, they can return more to the copyright holder than Netflix can, which gives the copyright holder a reason to prefer them over Netflix.

      So, if people are willing to pay for this, expect more shows to not be available for Netflix streaming, and to be available only on this or similar pay-per-view systems. Or, perhaps, to be delayed in getting to Netflix and similar services for a period, where they are available on pay-per-view systems like this, and then later move to Netflix.

    • by Teckla (630646)
      It's too bad the Netflix streaming selection is so limited.
    • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:32PM (#33375190)
      I have the same problem with this as I do with all-you-can-eat buffets. If I leave the buffet and my stomach doesn't hurt, I feel like I haven't gotten my money's worth. Likewise, if I'm paying Netflix $30/month for all the video I can veg out to, I feel like I'm screwing myself if I go outside and take a walk once in a while. Reading a book suddenly gets more expensive too.
  • http://www.macrumors.com/2010/08/25/apple-media-event-scheduled-for-september-1st/ [macrumors.com] I'm not sure if I'd like the $.99 rentals, but the cheaper iTV sounds intriguing.
  • tv shows want to do this? they could go to hulu and make more money with advertising. The simpsons makes more money per views on hulu then TV.

    TV shows are far more throw away them mp3s.

    I'll watch Lost on hulu, but I sure as hell wouldn't pay 99 cents an episode.

  • I'm sure i'm the 100th person to say this, but with services like Hulu (for new episodes) and Netflix Streaming (for back seasons) this seems silly. I cut my cable off 2 years ago and still manage to watch any tv program I want. If it's streaming next day, I watch it there, the commercials don't bug me. If the network is too stubborn to stream it with commercials and risk a little revenue loss, I pirate it. It's all about ease for me. The networks need to wise up quick. I'd gladly pay discovery channel dir
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      I cut my cable off 2 years ago... You have my deepest condolences. Your significant other has my condolences as well. Did you try having doctors reattach it?
  • Explain to me again why I should pay $0.99 to see something I can Tivo for free and watch on a much larger screen... Oh, that's right, so that I can watch it while I'm driving!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vijayiyer (728590)

      How do you Tivo something for free? There's the cost of the Tivo, and, unless it's over the air, some form of subscription service.

    • by alvinrod (889928)
      If you're already paying for cable and can Tivo it, already have Netflix and can stream it, or have already bought the DVD boxset and own it, etc. I can't imagine that this service is for you.

      Same reason why people who grow garden vegetables usually don't buy them at the store.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jo_ham (604554)

      Your Tivo and subscription to the premium channels these shows are on are both free? Cool, where can I get that hooked up?

  • by wombat1966 (1886522) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:26PM (#33375122)
    Actually I think it's a great move. Probably isn't going to attract anyone who wants a whole season of House, but as a mom, I've been stuck countless time in traffic, on a check-out line, or at the doctor's office with a bored cranky kid. At those times I'd gladly shell out a buck for an episode of something- ANYTHING- that will keep Junior entertained and quiet. They are probably also banking, quite literally, on the crowd that hasn't quite figured out that spending one dollar twenty times costs MORE than shelling out ten bucks. Pamhttp://www.talksocialnews.com
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mjwx (966435)

      I'd gladly shell out a buck for an episode of something- ANYTHING- that will keep Junior entertained and quiet

      Good parenting will be cheaper and more effective over a long period of time.

      If your crotchspawn knew there would be punishment for making a ruckus in the doctors office, eventually they will learn to stop doing it. Instead you have fallen back to the cathode teat of TV in order to replace your responsibility of raising a healthy child.

      You could just try, you know...

      Talking or playing wit

      • by Warll (1211492) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @09:30PM (#33376694) Homepage
        For some odd reason people who call children "crotchspawn" never quite sound like authoritative child rearing experts.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mjwx (966435)

          For some odd reason people who call children "crotchspawn" never quite sound like authoritative child rearing experts.

          Unfortunately with the state of child rearing in Australia, the standards of authority are quire low. If parent's didn't let their "little darlings" run amok in shopping centres, public transport, aeroplanes, offices and so forth then referring to them as "crotchspawns" would be quite unreasonable.

          But this is not the case, worse yet parents over here seem to be rewarding this kind of be

  • Assuming 3 hours of TV time per day, I could watch about 90 hour-long TV episodes on Netflix for just $9/month. Apple wants me to pay 10x that? No thanks.

    • Yes but you're also waiting on netflix to get the disc in, and then put the disc online.

      Compare that to buying the episode just after it airs.

      • by BitHive (578094)

        I actually prefer to watch a show after it's cancelled so if I like it I don't have to wait for new episodes.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        There is more stuff to watch than you have life left. You can watch something else until the disc arrives.

  • I currently buy 2-3 season passes per year for shows that I really like. It's cheaper then cable, and better then dealing with an unreliable DVR that records commercials and sometimes clips the beginning / end of episodes. Rentals are a lot nicer because most shows I get I only watch once. I'm also less concerned about DRM when content is disposable as opposed to something that I own.

  • I was about to RTFA; but got to the word "Antennagate" and closed the tab out of disgust.

  • Outside the U.S.? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nishi-no-wan (146508) on Thursday August 26, 2010 @08:12AM (#33379574) Homepage Journal

    The article fails to mention anything about the annoying problem that all of these services (iTunes included) don't allow those of us outside the U.S. to view any of these shows. Stupid exclusive deals for possible future foreign releases prevent worldwide distribution and force many expats to turn to bit torrents.

    If it's greed that drives the producers (and copyright holders), I do hope that they someday realize that they can earn more by allowing people outside of the U.S. timely access to their shows through legitimate channels (like iTunes, Hulu, etc.) than through exclusive tie-ups with other dinosaur companies that think the same way they do.

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman

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