iTunes Rental Pricing Flexibility and Earlier Releases

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When Steve Jobs announced iTunes Movie Rentals at the Macworld San Francisco 2008 keynote, he said that the digital rentals would appear 30 days after their DVD release. This delay is typically mandated by the movie studios who hold back "on demand" products, such as rentals, for 30-45 days after DVD release to avoid sales cannibalization.

Readers have noticed, however, that several movies are appearing in iTunes Rentals only days after their DVD release. These movies have included The Invasion, No Reservations and Michael Clayton. The delay from DVD release has ranged from 1 day to about a week. It seems the 30 day delay may not be enforced with all releases.

Meanwhile, Apple also appears to have some pricing flexibility with the movies. Last weekend, they ran a "Weekend Movie Rental Special" and discounted Breakfast at Tiffany's rental to $0.99 from the usual $2.99 fee.

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twoodcc

macrumors P6
Feb 3, 2005
15,307
26
Right side of wrong
very smart! weekend deals like this is a great idea to get people to rent movies that they usually might not watch.

it's also nice to not have to wait for 30 days when the dvd gets released
 

UCLA-Bruin

macrumors member
Feb 19, 2008
75
0
I had no idea they had BFT at $0.99 - that's a great idea. Also, any suggestions for setting for SnapzPro on iTunes movie rentals? (Is that legal?)
 

applefan69

macrumors 6502a
Oct 9, 2007
565
168
Alberta
This is great news how apple is able to have some flexibility

I can assume the 99cent movies, the mmoney is comin from apples pockets though. But thats still good to see apple having cheap movies, it will REALLY encourage people to start renting.

Expecially since at the moment i think lots of people are skeptical about renting online.
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,657
54
San Francisco, CA
Interesting. Other movies, however, are definitely being withheld until that thirtieth day, such as Elizabeth: The Golden Age (yes, I've been waiting).

Plus other movies, such as the The Bourne Ultimatum, seem to be missing long after the 30-day mark. :confused:
 

skeep5

macrumors 6502a
Mar 16, 2006
560
0
AZ
that would be great to have them early if i knew i could expect it for all of them...
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,214
4,625
Los Angeles
The delay from DVD release has ranged from 1 day to about a week. It seems the 30 day delay may not be enforced with all releases.
Does this depend on which studio it is?

I think "Michael Clayton" came out on Netflix just today (I got a copy :)), so Apple's rentals are providing real competition.
 

stoutboy1

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2007
118
0
Ya, why can't they compete with redbox? $.99 sounds like a good round number to me.:D
 

MacFly123

macrumors 68020
Dec 25, 2006
2,340
0
I'm pretty sure I was the first to mention this. I feel special hehe :)

P.S. They gained at least one sale with this, because my mom has been dying to rent "No Reservations" and if it hadn't been on iTunes right now she would have rented it and they never would have gotten that sale. I'm sure there were lots n lots more other than me. The 30 day delay could really hurt them because after 30 days you will have already rented what you want to see and if it was good you would just buy it by then, so either way in that scenario Apple gets screwed. Hope to see more movies posted right on release.
 

JimmyDreams

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2007
296
0
Ya, why can't they compete with redbox? $.99 sounds like a good round number to me.:D
Rebdox is that 'movie in a vending machine' thing, right?

Let's compare the competition:
Redbox : $.99
iTunes Rental: $3.99 or $4.99HD

Gas to and from 'redbox' location: avg $3.25/gal
Time spent driving to and from and looking for parking space: 20-30 minutes
Etc. etc. etc.

Even an HD rental at $4.99 is cheap if you consider the time, gas, etc. Heck if your round trip is 30 minutes, and you earn $15.00/hr at work, your dollar-value for time plus rental is already $8.49, not counting gas and the inevitable 2 liter of Coke and chips that you spontaneously purchased!!!:rolleyes: And if you're like me, there's the risk of a speeding ticket and/or being in an accident with an unlicensed, no-insurance-coverage illegal alien.:eek:

Really, the convenience factor alone makes the rental price worth it.

I personally would like to see more like a 48 hour window to watch PLUS the option to flat out buy a copy of the movie....but I'm sure buying downloads will come over time.

Besides, I can rent from iTunes wearing nothing but my boxers. Last time I tried renting from redbox wearing that, I got arrested, and dozens of bystanders are STILL in therapy.:p

:D
 

kitki83

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2004
803
0
Los Angeles
we need a new forum called "iTunes DailiesSpecials:Joy Luck Club FREE!!!!"

So we know when a movie is cheap to rent, just an idea
 

ghettochris

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2008
774
0
How did they do this? What's being done?
i second that question, I had a problem dvd i was trying to get to the ipod a few months back, so i just ran the snapz pro movie while the vid played in dvd player. the temp file it creates as it records can be huge for a movie, then it needs more space to save it after. i got better motion results with 30 fps rather than the source 24, but still not perfect. got a new imac 20'' pimped. might work fine on a mac pro. does this not work when playing an itunes rental on the computer? I do see a legal difference between copying a movie i own on dvd to the ipod, and making another compressed copy, just without drm and 24 hour limits...

i know apple's screenshot doesn't work when dvd player is open, but snapz has been fine, haven't tried doing this in 10.5.2 yet though.
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,231
108
Personally I think the 30 days thing is excessive and unnecessary by the film studios. It's almost like they want digital distribution to fail.

Also, where is Gladiator, Casino Royale or any James Bond film?
 

un1ty

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2007
83
0
Funny... I just rented Breakfast at Tiffany's and Michael Clayton (in HD). I bought a new hdtv and a 160gb appleTV this weekend, and I've been loving it. The podcasts, the HD films, the slideshows, even youtube is a whole other experience.

Maybe I'm just lazy but using a dvd player seems really old-fashioned now. Also, the way the appleTV is set up, it's so easy to make impulse rentals.
 

Proji

macrumors member
Feb 21, 2008
34
12
this is typical behaviour of the film distributors. i used to work in the industry so know q a lot about this.

distributors know when they have a film that isn't going to do loads of business, so they relax release schedules. this applies to cinemas, dvd rentals and dvd release. i'm not sure how much apple will have had to do with the short time between release and rental, but i don't doubt that apple will do what any film booker would, and that's ask about each film and push for an earlier release.

the discount weekends are a really good idea too, and i can't wait for the rental scheme to come over to the uk. well done apple i say :)
 

mbene12

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2008
12
0
They need to aggressively move to do two things if they want this product to have a chance.

The first is ADVERTISE. This is not a product that is going to sell itself. Where the heck is the ad campaign?

Secondly they have to push a little harder to get some movies up there. In terms of relatively recent flicks we are talking like 30-40 of them. Depending on your taste you might like 3-4 of those. They seem to be adding maybe two movies a day, sometimes none. Do they really have the support of all the studios? Its been a fair amount of time since they released the software patch.

I have a 160 gb and have gotten a lot of use out of it before the patch due to iTunes, iPhoto, and Handbrake. I have enjoyed the update and am impressed with all the new features, but I really want them to expand the market for the device before netflix and 20 others flood the market.
 

gwiller

macrumors newbie
Feb 21, 2008
1
0
How many films can be rented on itunes?

Not sure if this is me but when I choose Power search in iTunes and look for movies to rent I only see 150. Are there more than that??

I am using my Powerbook not apple tv for this search obviously..

I have been looking everyday for the 1000 movies that Mr Jobs said would be available for rent by the end of Feb..
 
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