As a DVD collecting MANAIC from day 0 who has an enormous collecting of titles lining the walls of my family room... here's my spin on all of this.
When Blu-ray finally 'won HD the war' I was actually happy, since it was the format that I felt was best suited to carry the torch previously held by DVD. What I didn't see coming was my lack of interest in Blu-ray as a whole. I admit I was clearly a DVD junky... Fueled in part by the clearly superior quality and other goodies as well as the SUPER cheap prices you could obtain them for... DVDs went on sale at the same time as internet shopping was JUST taking off... Tons of shops with buckets of VC cash were ALL handing out $5 or $10 off DVD coupons. Ten+ different deals per WEEK was not uncommon and DVDs starting rolling out as fast as the junkies could buy them. I myself have over 600 movies alone and countless TV seasons from at least 20 different shows. The last few year the deals became much fewer and less attractive and my buying spree came to an end.
I'm now constantly looking at a wall full of movies that many/most of which my wife and I have watched ONCE... Some are still shrink-wrapped. Now I'm hit with this new Blu-ray format and I simply can't bring myself to start the craze all over again - no matter how much 'better' the movie might look and I can't really blame them... their very existence could be at stake.
I've though long and hard about this and the reason for buying the movies was simply for the convenience / comfort / bragging rights of being able to pickup and watch whatever we wanted whenever we pleased.
But, at what cost?
The 'knowledge' that you could pick up a remote any play just about ANYTHING on demand is quite a powerful force and it clearly drove our DVD buying spree for years. The fact is you can never own 'everything'... Not even if you could buy them all for $5 each. The storage needs alone would be insane.
So... I asked myself... would I pay $19-$29 a month if it enabled me to have FULL access (with a stunning UI) to ANY HD movie currently available for a rental fee of $2.99 or even $3.99 for over a 2 or 3 day period. Now I'm not talking about a few hundred titles that get rotated in and out.. but the ENTIRE collection of modern movies from all the studios. Always available anytime...
To me... I'd do it in a heartbeat. The warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing I can access any HD movie anytime I like would be a strong attraction for me and clearly something I'd pay a monthly fee to be able to have access to - and I'd still be willing to play a reasonable fee to actually watch a movie from the catalog.
I guess for me its the 'completeness' of it that appeals to me most.
Unfortunately this is exactly what scares the **** out of the studios...
People are buying less DVD and Blu-ray movies NOW... imagine what would happen if suddenly you could gain access to them ALL anytime day or night (for a low monthly fee) and watch them for a modest rental/streaming fee of 2 or 3 bucks for a 3 day period. The only deal breaker for me would be if the studios dumbed all the content down to 720p and lackluster audio options.
If done right... the HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, Netflix can all plan for their painful times ahead... After all, who is gonna throw $10+ or more per month to those stations who show 100? (more/less) movies per month... The only saving grace for some would be the original content some of those stations (HBO comes to mind) fund.. Netflix and movie stations without their own content will die very quickly.
The cable industry wouldn't be hurt _as bad_ right away but this would still be seen as a sign of things to come.
So.. lets just say that LOTS of companies have a DEEP DESIRE for Apple to NOT succeed with their grand movie and TV plans and are (or should be) putting enormous pressure on the studios for them to 'back off' and can you blame them? Their very existence could be at stake...