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View Full Version : Ok, so tell me what I'm missing...




MikieMikie
Jan 8, 2008, 05:23 PM
I mean, I'm smart enough to keep my fingers out of garbage disposals and away from hot flames, and I was clever enough to impress a woman and get her to marry me.

But I guess The Steve must have something up his sleeve that's so clever, it escapes me. The way I see it, here's his plan:

1. Rent movies/tv shows on ITMS.
2. (I can only assume he will) Make them available for download and (if not directly downloadable to, then at least be) sync-able to :apple:TV.
3. These movies/TV shows will NOT be high definition since they must be a one-format-fits-all solution. If it doesn't work on the nano, it isn't available.
4. He intends to charge somewhere around the cost of renting at Blockbuster or Hollywood Video, but for only for 24 hours.

Of course, we'll have to wait to see, but from what I can tell, this approach seems to be "it."

Who in their right mind would rent an INFERIOR (to DVD) quality movie for LESS time for MORE or THE SAME money? And without the extra features? With my Blockbuster plan, I get movies delivered to my door, and free in-store exchanges. (Despite the fact that I hate their business practices of arbitrarily raising rates) Blockbuster rentals are around $1.00 Each! And with very lenient return policies (i.e.: no late fees).

Who understands this "plan" of The Steve?

Who would encourage me to drink this Kool-Aid?

:eek:

-- Mikie



wordmunger
Jan 8, 2008, 05:31 PM
Who in their right mind would rent an INFERIOR (to DVD) quality movie for LESS time for MORE or THE SAME money?

I would, and here's why: convenience. For netflix, I have to wait at least a couple days from the time I pick the movie to when I can watch it. By then I might not be in the mood. In my case I have to pick that movie up at the post office (no front door delivery in my neighborhood. long story). With Blockbuster it's the same thing, or driving even farther to pick up the movie at the store.

And without the extra features?

I don't care about the extra features. I almost never watch them. I watch the movie once and then I'm done.

With my Blockbuster plan, I get movies delivered to my door, and free in-store exchanges. (Despite the fact that I hate their business practices of arbitrarily raising rates) Blockbuster rentals are around $1.00 Each! And with very lenient return policies (i.e.: no late fees).

They're only that cheap if you watch lots of movies in a month. I watch maybe 4 or 5 tops.

Who understands this "plan" of The Steve?

Who would encourage me to drink this Kool-Aid?

Actually, no one who can post here understands the plan. It's a rumor. Maybe it won't be a 24-hour rental. Maybe they'll bump up video quality at MWSF. Maybe we'll see a whole new apple TV that offers even more features. But I'd be fine with $3.99 24-hour rentals at the current quality level. Convenience, more selection, same price as pay-per-view. That's about all I need.

killerrobot
Jan 8, 2008, 05:38 PM
I would, and here's why: convenience. For netflix, I have to wait at least a couple days from the time I pick the movie to when I can watch it. By then I might not be in the mood.


Actually Netflix already has streaming availability - so your wait time is zilch.

@OP
Convenience, as wordmonger points out is the main reason. This is no different than the on demand stuff for cable companies. People order because they didn't plan ahead or plans changed and they just want something simple in front.

Will this plan make Apple billions of dollars. No. But it will get them some money - however, I'm not sure if it will be enough to break even on the scheme.

wordmunger
Jan 8, 2008, 05:42 PM
Actually Netflix already has streaming availability - so your wait time is zilch.

Ummm... if you're using windows...

Actually, that's another reason I don't like netflix. I pay for things I don't use. It's not just the streaming. Every day a DVD sits unwatched because I don't have time to watch that day, or I'm not in the mood, I'm losing money.

peeaanuut
Jan 8, 2008, 05:55 PM
Isn't streaming to the computer only? Now that I have an appleTV I no longer watch movies on my computer. Its all about convenience.

killerrobot
Jan 8, 2008, 06:01 PM
Ummm... if you're using windows...

Actually, that's another reason I don't like netflix. I pay for things I don't use. It's not just the streaming. Every day a DVD sits unwatched because I don't have time to watch that day, or I'm not in the mood, I'm losing money.

Yeah, if you're running XP, which Macs can...just pointing out that you can stream it to a Mac.

And, yeah it doesn't make sense to spend the money if you're not going to use it.

EDIT:
@peeaanuut
Yeah the computer streaming is an issue, but it all depends on the quality of the streams to begin with especially with all the new HD screens that are coming out and have been sold already.

milo
Jan 8, 2008, 06:17 PM
I probably wouldn't make a habit of it at those prices, but it would be appealing in those situations where you have a night free and your three netflix slots are all in transit.

If you could watch a movie you wanted to see without leaving the house, not worrying if it's in stock at the local shop (and not worrying about returning it afterward), I think some people would use it at least some of the time.

And that's probably enough to start with. If pricing is too high, or terms too restrictive, the studios will see that and will have to improve them if they want to make more money.

We're also going on assumptions, the terms might be better to start, and apple could up sound and video quality.

wordmunger
Jan 8, 2008, 06:51 PM
Yeah, if you're running XP, which Macs can...just pointing out that you can stream it to a Mac.

There's NO WAY I'm installing windows on my Mac. Don't need it, don't want it. I'll stick with physical DVDs rather than get into that virus-ridden mess. But yes, I understand that it's possible. If I had to go that route, I'd buy a $300 wal-mart computer and hide it behind my TV. Same price as Apple TV -- only problem is it's too noisy for the TV room.

aross99
Jan 9, 2008, 12:11 AM
I think the iTunes rental option is designed to appeal to the person who goes to a physical video store or PPV to rent movies. For these people it is all about convenience. Quality is similar, cost is the same, and I don't have to drive down there, or take the movie back.

For a person who watches enough movie to pay netflix $15/month, it's probably not going to be an attractive option.

Don't forget though, that the apple TV can be used for listening to music, or watching Video Podcasts also - all without your computer.

If you ever thought about purchasing a TV show because you missed the latest episode, or maybe splurged and bought the whole season, you would find that watching it on your Mac is OK (Depending on the screen size), but it is much nicer to watch on TV - without having to cable up your Mac to the TV.

I used my Apple TV to play Christmas music all through the holiday season. Much nicer than having to have my laptop open and plugged into the TV, and the interface is much easier than plugging my iPod in too.

Just more elegant, and a slick way to watch or listen to your iTunes content. A bit expensive at $300, but a very slick solution none the less. The movie rental option makes it just that much better.

Phobophobia
Jan 9, 2008, 10:47 AM
I plan on renting movies from iTunes because it will be the most convenient way to get content onto my iPod touch. I think some of you are missing the point: if the pricing is too low, we won't get content from the movie studios.

milo
Jan 9, 2008, 12:29 PM
I plan on renting movies from iTunes because it will be the most convenient way to get content onto my iPod touch. I think some of you are missing the point: if the pricing is too low, we won't get content from the movie studios.

But the movie studios are willing to take royalties from Netflix that have to be pretty low for them to be staying in business. I suspect that the studios have an unrealistic picture of the potential market for downloads, and they'll adjust their expectations once they ship a product that is way overpriced and ends up mostly ignored by consumers.

MovieCutter
Jan 9, 2008, 01:28 PM
The real question is who would pay $3.99 to watch a movie on their iPod within 24 hours. I think the quality will change for rentals only. We might see 720P downloadable movies for the Rental store to AppleTV or your Mac exclusively. XBox 360 already does this.

milo
Jan 9, 2008, 01:35 PM
The real question is who would pay $3.99 to watch a movie on their iPod within 24 hours. I think the quality will change for rentals only. We might see 720P downloadable movies for the Rental store to AppleTV or your Mac exclusively. XBox 360 already does this.

Or their aTV, or their computer, or their TV (from the ipod).

Who? People who want to see a movie and either 1) don't want to leave the house 2) want something that's not in stock nearby or 3) have all three of their netflix discs in transit.

At that price, it's more of an impulse/convenience than something people would likely do on a regular basis, but that's enough to get apple started.

MovieCutter
Jan 9, 2008, 01:42 PM
Or their aTV, or their computer, or their TV (from the ipod).

Who? People who want to see a movie and either 1) don't want to leave the house 2) want something that's not in stock nearby or 3) have all three of their netflix discs in transit.

At that price, it's more of an impulse/convenience than something people would likely do on a regular basis, but that's enough to get apple started.

I think you missed my point. I don't know anyone who would pay $3.99 to watch a 24 hour rental on an iPod screen. On my 50" HDTV, sure, on my 17" MBP, maybe, but not on an iPod or iPhone.

iKwick7
Jan 9, 2008, 01:46 PM
Who in their right mind would rent an INFERIOR (to DVD) quality movie for LESS time for MORE or THE SAME money? And without the extra features? With my Blockbuster plan, I get movies delivered to my door, and free in-store exchanges. (Despite the fact that I hate their business practices of arbitrarily raising rates) Blockbuster rentals are around $1.00 Each! And with very lenient return policies (i.e.: no late fees).


You answered yourself right there.

I, like many other people, HATE Blockbuster. Horrible company. Yeah, they are no Cablevision or Verizon (2 of the worst companies out there, in my opinion), but they do suck bad. Only other option is Netflix or renting online.

milo
Jan 9, 2008, 02:39 PM
I think you missed my point. I don't know anyone who would pay $3.99 to watch a 24 hour rental on an iPod screen. On my 50" HDTV, sure, on my 17" MBP, maybe, but not on an iPod or iPhone.

To answer the question, people who are traveling.

But even if nobody does want to watch on an iPod screen, there are still plenty of people who would buy and watch on a computer, aTV, or TV via ipod. What does it matter if watching on iPod isn't that appealing?

wPod
Jan 9, 2008, 03:51 PM
Who understands this "plan" of The Steve?

Who would encourage me to drink this Kool-Aid?

:eek:

-- Mikie

Here is Steve's plan:

Deliver more content = more hardware (iPod, :apple:TV, Mac) sales = more $$ for Apple.

Look at the success of the iTMS and success of the iPod. The music files (excluding the iTunes Plus files) are lower quality than CD, but they have still sold very well. So well that the iTMS is the 3rd largest music retailer. There are many people who would say the current iTunes movie content looks fine on their HD TV sets. So only the uber-nerds will really be dissatisfied with the content, most customers with less critical of tastes will probably not mind the differenc. (and I have to say most of us here on the MacRumors forum are uber-nerds if not close to that (myself included) so i do not use the term 'nerd' in a bad way simply saying that our views of technology is different than most consumers' views)

As for the pricing I think the movie companies had a large hand in setting the pricing and that may be something that hinders the movie rentals. But Steve has to be cautious here, look at NBC they pulled out of iTunes because Steve wasn't so flexible on the pricing. And I am sure Steve doesnt want to see the same thing happen with a large movie company.

I think if Steve can pull of the movie sales (better than currently) and movie rentals well, then the digital movie content may be able to 'get rid of' DVDs in a similar way that digital music from the iTMS has been able to compete so well against CDs.

chameleon
Jan 9, 2008, 04:00 PM
Who in their right mind would rent an INFERIOR (to DVD) quality movie for LESS time for MORE or THE SAME money?
I tend to agree with you, Mike.

I also use RedBox, which is right around the corner from my house, and it's a $1 DVD rental for 24 hours. That's hard to beat.

My guess is that there are two factors at work here:

1. Convenience. The prevailing thinking probably says that you'll pay that much to just be able to press a few buttons on your remote, and be able to watch any video without having to get off your couch. It works for Pay-Per-View, so why not for AppleTV. I'm not sure I completely agree with this, but I'd bet that's the thinking.

2. Studios. This is the X Factor. The movie studios have seen what the record labels got themselves into with Apple. Steve controls pricing, and the studios can't gouge consumers with super-high pricing. They don't want to make the same mistake (in their viewpoint). They are probably playing extreme hardball with Apple in exchange for offering their movies. Apple may want to do things differently, but can't...

JonHimself
Jan 9, 2008, 04:06 PM
I think the biggest problem that I hadn't given any real thought to until reading the OP has to do with the movie file working on all of the devices. In Apple's never ending effort to make everything fit nicely, you would think that they would have to make it possible to download a file that would play nice with all of the available devices, from a nano all the way up to a 50" lcd tv. The simple solution is to do what they do now, go with the lowest common denominator but I think as more and more people move towards HD programming, in order to appeal to everyone they'd have to offer an option for a higher quality file... So what would be the best way to do this? Charge two different prices? I doubt they would do this, despite it being logical that you pay more for a higher quality file, the people with Apple TV's would cry foul. Have two download options? You would still make people upset about this... what if I wanted to download the file and watch it on my Apple TV AND take it to work on my iphone? I shouldn't have to pay for two files.
I'm sure there is a solution, but it'd be hard to appeal to everyone in this situation without having them sacrifice something.

MikieMikie
Jan 9, 2008, 04:15 PM
Here is Steve's plan:

Deliver more content = more hardware (iPod, :apple:TV, Mac) sales = more $$ for Apple.


I agree. This is what I've been saying all along: the success of the ITMServer (and so all satellite devices) relies on readily available content.


Look at the success of the iTMS and success of the iPod. The music files (excluding the iTunes Plus files) are lower quality than CD, but they have still sold very well. So well that the iTMS is the 3rd largest music retailer.


I think we're talking apples and oranges, here -- audio files, even at their worst (i.e. ITMS) quality, don't suck as bad (on some made-up scale) as below SD does on an HDTV. People are willing to settle for lower audio quality -- the ears are not as good as the eyes.


There are many people who would say the current iTunes movie content looks fine on their HD TV sets.


This is a straw man argument. It's like saying Windows Vista is good because a lot of people have bought it.


So only the uber-nerds will really be dissatisfied with the content, most customers with less critical of tastes will probably not mind the differenc. (and I have to say most of us here on the MacRumors forum are uber-nerds if not close to that (myself included) so i do not use the term 'nerd' in a bad way simply saying that our views of technology is different than most consumers' views)


Understood. Nonetheless, I think the quality will definitely be noticeable. People new to this forum have complained about iPod quality video looking crappy on their sets. I dunno -- I just hope they're not doing an iPod only version.


As for the pricing I think the movie companies had a large hand in setting the pricing and that may be something that hinders the movie rentals. But Steve has to be cautious here, look at NBC they pulled out of iTunes because Steve wasn't so flexible on the pricing. And I am sure Steve doesnt want to see the same thing happen with a large movie company.


Everything points to "equivalent to VOD" from cable companies. At a lower video and audio quality.


I think if Steve can pull of the movie sales (better than currently) and movie rentals well, then the digital movie content may be able to 'get rid of' DVDs in a similar way that digital music from the iTMS has been able to compete so well against CDs.

I hope you're right, but fear it's not going to be an overwhelming thing. Look, I ran out and bought an iPhone just because its interface was so overwhelmingly beautiful. I couldn't have cared less if it did SMS, peeled potatoes, or held my hand in bed after sex. I think if he doesn't do this rental in the same kind of overwhelming way, he's doomed to fail.

Walmart, move over.

MikieMikie
Jan 9, 2008, 04:17 PM
I think the biggest problem that I hadn't given any real thought to until reading the OP has to do with the movie file working on all of the devices. In Apple's never ending effort to make everything fit nicely, you would think that they would have to make it possible to download a file that would play nice with all of the available devices, from a nano all the way up to a 50" lcd tv. The simple solution is to do what they do now, go with the lowest common denominator but I think as more and more people move towards HD programming, in order to appeal to everyone they'd have to offer an option for a higher quality file... So what would be the best way to do this? Charge two different prices? I doubt they would do this, despite it being logical that you pay more for a higher quality file, the people with Apple TV's would cry foul. Have two download options? You would still make people upset about this... what if I wanted to download the file and watch it on my Apple TV AND take it to work on my iphone? I shouldn't have to pay for two files.
I'm sure there is a solution, but it'd be hard to appeal to everyone in this situation without having them sacrifice something.

Yeah. This is a big concern of mine. Why would I download nano-quality video???

Like I said above, The Steve had better pull something special out of his turtleneck, or I'm stuck (and unhappily, I might add again) with Blockbuster.