Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Television Apple

Apple In Talks To Bring $0.99 TV Rentals To iTunes 274

An anonymous reader writes "On September first, Apple will reportedly announce a new iPod Touch with a front facing camera, a refreshed Apple TV, and more interestingly, the arrival of $0.99 TV episode rentals on iTunes."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple In Talks To Bring $0.99 TV Rentals To iTunes

Comments Filter:
  • 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 mark72005 ( 1233572 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:50PM (#33374580)
    $1 an episode x 20 episodes = $20 ...About half or three-quarters of the normal price, right?

    So for the discount, you don't get to keep the product.
  • 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 Dayze!Confused ( 717774 ) <(moc.oahgnoyho) (ta) (gro.todhsals)> 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.

  • by Beardydog ( 716221 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:54PM (#33374630)
    It's way too much for any type of copy. TV shows, compared to songs, are usually much more disposable. The Colbert Report is an extreme example. It comes on, I watch it, and I have no desire to ever watch that episode again. I watch backcatalogs on Netflix of a lot of things, but I've never h ad any desire to own them before getting streaming access. And yet Apple sells episodes ofthe ColbertReport for 2 dollars, if I recall correctly.

    There are exceptions, and I can see people buying episodes of a Firefly, or a Gilmore Girls ( embarassing confessiion ) for two dollars, if itcomeswith guaranteed future redownloads afterdrive failures and such. But the vastmajority of TV shows are far too ephemeral. Even the Sopranos, whichI greatly enjoyed... It was fun. It's over now. I'll never watch it again.
  • by flitty ( 981864 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:55PM (#33374656)
    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!"

  • or... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:08PM (#33374858) Homepage Journal

    In the case of broadcast television...

    A fool and his time are soon parted.

  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:11PM (#33374902)

    Yes and not all of us are stupid or gullible enough to think that something is worth what a company with a history of ripping people off is charging.

    Cable/Sat TV around here is about $10 per month then add another $10 for STB rental, another $10 for the phone line.

    If the rental model allowed for the release of new episodes on the same day as the original television air date, is their really any reason not to pay a dollar to watch it?

    Yes. When I can get it for free and I feel its not even worth $1 to buy I'll never pay $0.99 to have use of a few 1s and 0s for a while.

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:12PM (#33374912)

    Depends on the show really. Star Trek TNG was over $100 per season when it first came out, and it's still at $50+ new on Amazon. Compared to that, these are cheap. On the other hand, Charmed runs about $18-25 for a season on Amazon, and I've seen them in Wal-mart for $15 per season. Compared that that, this isn't so great.

    Now personally, I'd expect a discount for a digital only version where there are no packaging, discs to press, inventory to track, or items to ship to a store. That's for a digital copy I get to keep. If it's a rental only? I'd expect a (significant) further discount again. IMHO, for digital downloads, a whole season of a TV show should be around $10 to buy as a whole - $5 to rent. If doing it by single episodes I'd expect $1 or less to buy and $0.50 or less to rent.

  • 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 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.
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:17PM (#33374992) Journal

    >>>$1 an episode x 20 episodes = $20 ...About half or three-quarters of the normal price, right?

    Unless you later sell the used DVD on ebay for $20 (~$40-20 == about $20 total cost of ownership), in which case there's no savings whatsoever to rent from Apple. Plus with a DVD set you can watch it now, then share it with friends at the next party, then watch it again next year or five or ten years from now.

    Buying ends-up being cheaper than renting.

  • 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 spazdor ( 902907 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:23PM (#33375064)

    If it's a rental only? I'd expect a (significant) further discount again

    For a digital copy I don't even get to keep, well, I'd expect not to have to pay. The "watch this but don't keep a copy" model has been ad-supported on aerial TV for decades, and on YouTube for the better part of one. What makes them think they deserve any customers by stepping back onto a pay-per-play system? And isn't this the kind of shit that DRM alarmists were diligently warning everyone about back in 2003?

  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:30PM (#33375166)

    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 thru that process. how many times are they allowed to dip into the profit pool?

    THIS is why people are sick and tired of the media companies. this is why many people just give up trying to 'do the right thing' and end up at some kind of bay or something....

    apple, you're always good for a chuckle, though.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nugoo ( 1794744 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:49PM (#33375430)
    -1: Naive
  • by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:50PM (#33375442) Homepage
    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 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 been known to watch Daily Show/Colbert, but the streaming versions are fine for me. All said and done, I think I spend no more than 4 hours a week on a bad week in front of any form of TV entertainment, usually more like two. Two hours a day? Forget about $120/mo; my time is worth more to me.
  • Re:Wait a second (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:55PM (#33375502)

    my point was that it's ridiculous how many Americans pay $80/month to see these shows when you can see them for free.

    There are millions (and I mean millions) of cable subscribers in apartment building that cannot have 'free' TV of any quality. Rabbit ears != decent reception in most urban areas (I can't speak for suburban areas). On top of that there are condominiums and home owner associations that ban visible antennae. Free isn't an option for everyone.

  • Re:I'm confused (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vijayiyer ( 728590 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @07:13PM (#33375688)

    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.

  • Re:I'm confused (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @07:57PM (#33376060)

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

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @08:12PM (#33376184)
    You've been able to buy DRM'd episodes from Amazon [] since 2006, this is only news because it's itunes.
  • Re:wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by happymellon ( 927696 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @08:23PM (#33376278)
    Why would the RIAA care if you downloaded a TV show?
  • 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.
  • by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @11:41PM (#33377396) Homepage

    The "watch this but don't keep a copy" model has been ad-supported on aerial TV for decades

    In 1990 I watched as my mom died, and in her weakened state basically able to do nothing but watch TV, her precious seconds being used up watching ads for Wisk or whatnot. By 1993 I had stopped watching television completely (kept the VCR for movies though), because the fact is, advertising is a waste of life. Sure, the shows might be somewhat interesting, but just how much is your life worth? I decided mine was worth way more than I got from the annoyance of marketing.

    Then came Netflix and TNG, DS9, and even Voyager on DVD. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up on these shows without commercials. Later, I picked up an ATV and I've enjoyed commercial free seasons of Dexter and True Blood and a few other things. The whole point of a device like the ATV, is to avoid commercials and let the marketers hit the unemployment line and languish there as could only happen in a truly just world.

    Finally, I just can't believe how cheap people are. What does 99c get you anymore? A Snickers? A box of Tic Tacs? You know, even if you earn minimum wage (and who really thinks their life is only worth 8-something an hour), 15 minutes of commercials is worth $2. Why would you spend $2 of life, when you can get the show for a buck? It makes absolutely no sense to me at all. If you make $60/hr, those 15 minutes cost $15 -- a season would cost you roughly $360.

    And one last finally -- if we can get away from the whole advertising model, then direct user supported shows would be possible. For example, Firefly couldn't cut it in the ratings game, but how many direct subscribers would it have taken to make it worth doing?

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.