Rumor: Apple may soon provide 99 cent streaming TV show rentals

According to industry sources, Apple is currently working on agreements with major Television Studios to allow it to rent TV shows to consumers for 99 cents a piece. NewTeeVee reports that , "The TV rental program would work in much the same way that movie rentals now work through iTunes; once an episode is purchased, the consumer will have 30 days to start watching the video." The service would be offered on their next AppleTV Set-Top Box first, and once a rental is started, it will be available for 24 hours before expiring. It would also differ slightly from the current iTunes model because it would move the content into the cloud. No downloads will be necessary, so users will be able to watch the content immediately after renting it.

This move will be Apple's first step towards joining the industry's current trend. Currently, many other providers including YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and even Microsoft's Zune Service have made use of streaming technology to deliver content to consumers. Apple is hoping that this move will increase the amount of TV Shows that are consumed through their iTunes service. This move by Apple comes just after Hulu just announced their "Hulu Plus" subscription service, which will provide access to full seasons of TV Shows at an a la carte price of $9.99 per month. However, Apple may have an advantage when it comes to content. They already have access to a vast library of TV programs that Hulu doesn't have access to.

Despite that fact, Hulu does have a major competitive edge over Apple currently -- it will be supplying its "Hulu Plus" subscription on a variety of different devices including Xbox 360, PS3, Samsung TVs and Blu-Ray Players, Sony TVs and Blu-Ray Players, Apple iPod, and Apple iPhone.
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12 Comments

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Still too fricking expensive. By a long way. I've no idea what cable costs in the US, but if you pay $20-$30 a month for a cable service of some kind, you can watch whatever shows you like during that month which adds up to a hell of a lot more than you're getting for $0.99 an episode.

Why don't these companies understand it?!

swanlee said,
We should feel lucky to have the privilege to give Apple a dollar to rent a TV show.
LOL not for me, I can get it for free with my rogers on demand =-)

Rudy said,
If they could get the show at the same time they air on tv I would consider dropping my cable

I don't see why not. I know MS does with the zune marketplace.

winlonghorn said,
I am not sure, but it sure is a good attempt. That is for sure.

If they bring in a subscription fee similar to Hulu's then it will be a good attempt. 99c for a 20 minute tv show is pricey.

Even then, with Hulu, many people will not have the buy separate hardware.

Minimoose said,

If they bring in a subscription fee similar to Hulu's then it will be a good attempt. 99c for a 20 minute tv show is pricey.

Even then, with Hulu, many people will not have the buy separate hardware.

You can buy the show through zune for about 50cents more.

Bengal34 said,

You can buy the show through zune for about 50cents more.

Exactly, although I don't re-watch a lot of tv, so the 'renting' part isn't a big deal for me. Subscription just seems a lot better for this kind of thing, unless you don't watch much TV, but then I fail to see the point of the product if that is the case, since you have to fork out money for the hardware.