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Old Jan 26, 2008, 10:11 PM   #1
robrose20
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Suggestion for Apple

Would anyone be interested in a subscription plan to Itunes Movie Rentals. Similar to Netflix, you pay a flat fee every month, you can download a certain number of movies at one time depending on the package you subscribe to and if you commit to a certain length of time you get a free Apple TV (like getting a cable box from your cable provider).

I would definitely go for something like that. What is the general feeling out there?
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Old Jan 26, 2008, 11:47 PM   #2
darwen
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Apple does not do subscriptions. Rentals were a bit out of Apple's standards... this is pushing the envelope. Apple likes to sell content.

A subsidized box? No. Not gonna happen. Apple sells hardware and then makes infrastructure to get content to that hardware. They are a hardware company, not a service company. They want you to buy the box and they want to help get content to the box. How would your suggestion profit them?
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Old Jan 27, 2008, 12:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by darwen View Post
Apple does not do subscriptions. Rentals were a bit out of Apple's standards... this is pushing the envelope. Apple likes to sell content.

A subsidized box? No. Not gonna happen. Apple sells hardware and then makes infrastructure to get content to that hardware. They are a hardware company, not a service company. They want you to buy the box and they want to help get content to the box. How would your suggestion profit them?
How can you make an opinion based statement like they don't do subscriptions. Obviously as of right now they don't, but who's to say in the future that they won't.

Ask anyone a few years ago if they would allow movie rentals and they'd probably laugh.
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Old Jan 27, 2008, 02:36 AM   #4
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Apple does not do subscriptions. Rentals were a bit out of Apple's standards...
Well, there is .Mac.
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Old Jan 27, 2008, 06:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by robrose20 View Post
Would anyone be interested in a subscription plan to Itunes Movie Rentals. Similar to Netflix, you pay a flat fee every month, you can download a certain number of movies at one time depending on the package you subscribe to and if you commit to a certain length of time you get a free Apple TV (like getting a cable box from your cable provider)
I think the problem with the subscription model is that it only appeals to people who use the service a lot. For the many people who only see a few movies a year, a subscription is a turn off. It is a monthly commitment to pay for something you don't use. Most of us don't want more utility bills.

On the other hand, the occasional movie watcher will probably find himself renting more because Apple makes the process so easy. This has been our experience. We watch a handful of movies a year which we borrow from the library. It's free, but it is a nuisance. And there is no guarantee that after we make the trip we will find anything we want to watch.

My guess is that Netflix can offer the "keep it as long as you want" model because they are renting something physical that they already paid for. The studios are still very leery of digital transfer and the possible of easy copying and transfer.

Darwen is exactly right about subsidies. Apple tries to provide cheap content the increase the value of its expensive hardware. There is no value to Apple in doing it the other way around.
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Old Jan 27, 2008, 11:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by darwen View Post
Apple does not do subscriptions. Rentals were a bit out of Apple's standards... this is pushing the envelope. Apple likes to sell content.

A subsidized box? No. Not gonna happen. Apple sells hardware and then makes infrastructure to get content to that hardware. They are a hardware company, not a service company. They want you to buy the box and they want to help get content to the box. How would your suggestion profit them?
If you commit to a 2 year contract (similar to cell phone, etc) and pay $24.99 a month to rent an unlimited amount of movies (lets say 3 at a time), Apple would make a lot of money. They could give to 40 gb version of the Apple TV. I would definitely go for a service like that. I am an avid user of netflix, love it. It would be nice if apple offered something similar with rentals.

We'll see...
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Old Jan 27, 2008, 12:58 PM   #7
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Not only does Apple make higher margins on selling the hardware rather than capitalizing its cost, but the idea of a subscription service completely thwarts the strategic competitive advantage of their business model.

Subscription models already exist in the world of cable, dish and FIOS. Apple is seeking to undermine that old model with developing devices that can provide a truly interactive media experience in the living room: 100% a-la carte, on-demand programming, accessible through a user friendly interface. It's the interface that they're making money on, but they depend upon supporting this forward-thinking business model to give customers something the cable, satellite and FTTH companies will not.

Also, it's a philosophical matter. One reason Apple didn't simply give up on AppleTV in its initial failure is because Steve Jobs really, actually believes that this is at the heart of the future of technological convergence... the ability to harness the power of IP and the IP network to get the content we want, when we want, how we want, where we want. It's a revolution of the mind, more than anything... to change the way we think of entertainment and accessibility, technology, digital appliances and convergence. Why, for example, aren't all home entertainment components speaking IP today, which would allow for their coordinated management by one elegant, central system such as AppleTV?

Why in the internet age should we be locked down to paying a fixed fee to communally subsidize access to content we do not want when we can go buy an AppleTV and (with the forthcoming update) rent movies on our terms or watch tons of free podcasts on any subject under the sun without being beholden to any kind of monthly or yearly contract?

A subscription model is the complete antithesis of the kind of revolution Apple is trying to spark because it represents everything the revolution is against...
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Old Jan 27, 2008, 06:38 PM   #8
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I think Apple might be interested in iTunes "club" incentive plans. So, for instance, if you get an iTunes "club" plan, you pay a yearly subscription (maybe $99, which works out to about $8/mo.), and you get up to 4 rentals included every month (standard def, with "rollover" rentals that only expire 1 year after they're accrued... like "minutes" under at&t). This would be an almost 50% discount, and it would completely secure rental purchases for them on a monthly basis from a dedicated group of buyers.

That's the ONLY way I could see Apple doing a subscription plan. They could run the plan at a loss with the idea that they're driving traffic and usage stats through the roof. Additional purchases I think would almost be assured. Considering Amazon already has its own "club" benefits, iTunes would seem foolish not to explore the possibility.

Ah, another idea. Pay $19/per year club plan, and you can rent unlimited movies on iTunes for $1.99 each (you save $1). I'd hop onto that plan in a hot second and throw Netflix out the window. $39/year and movies cost just $1 each for standard definition rentals (savings of $2 per movie rental).

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Old Jan 27, 2008, 06:58 PM   #9
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I rather like how people toss out "business models" without having a clue as to what Apple's costs actually are.
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Old Jan 27, 2008, 07:00 PM   #10
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I'd definitely pay a monthly subscription, even if it were capped (15 movies/month or whatever). I figure Apple will do it eventually. I'm not going to rent more than (tops!) two over the next few years anyway.
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Old Jan 27, 2008, 08:59 PM   #11
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I rather like how people toss out "business models" without having a clue as to what Apple's costs actually are.
Oh, and you do.......
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Old Jan 27, 2008, 09:21 PM   #12
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I would like to see Apple go further. On demand movies, music, books and whatever other media someone can watch. Instead of going to movie theater, music store, or library have everything right at your fingertips. I think thats what Apple would like to do.



Quote:
Originally Posted by robrose20 View Post
Would anyone be interested in a subscription plan to Itunes Movie Rentals. Similar to Netflix, you pay a flat fee every month, you can download a certain number of movies at one time depending on the package you subscribe to and if you commit to a certain length of time you get a free Apple TV (like getting a cable box from your cable provider).

I would definitely go for something like that. What is the general feeling out there?
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Old Jan 28, 2008, 06:36 AM   #13
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I rather like how people toss out "business models" without having a clue as to what Apple's costs actually are.
Its harder for me when people do it with little consideration to it. Ultimately, anyone is entitled to "wish" for whatever they want Apple to do, its the serious "expectation" that it should happen... with little regard for any form of business model... that I find somewhat woeful.

In the end it's all a betting game that only Apple can decide for sure. --So, were I Apple, I think I'd imagine negotiating a lower cost on volume to be pretty much a "given". The only question would be "how much" after "how much". Considering Apple already does "Season Tickets", its competitors already offer "clubs", and they're looking to generate as much, if not more volume with movie rentals as they did with TV shows... its in their best interests to consider it seriously.

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Old Jan 28, 2008, 06:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by darwen View Post
Apple does not do subscriptions. Rentals were a bit out of Apple's standards... this is pushing the envelope. Apple likes to sell content.

A subsidized box? No. Not gonna happen. Apple sells hardware and then makes infrastructure to get content to that hardware. They are a hardware company, not a service company. They want you to buy the box and they want to help get content to the box. How would your suggestion profit them?
I'm glad Darwen doesn't run Apple - with that 'no can do' attitude, the company would have gone under many years ago.

I think it's a great idea and one that would tip me to buy it. Having an off-air recorder would definitely make me go and get one.
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