Apple has removed the ability to rent TV shows from iTunes. You can no longer rent shows on the Apple TV, and all traces of TV show rentals have been erased.
It was only a year ago that Apple announced TV show rentals in iTunes, and the service has already been pulled. Now you can only download individual shows or purchase season passes.
Apple confirmed the news with AllThingsD:
“iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said. “iTunes in the Cloud lets customers download and watch their past TV purchases from their iOS devices, Apple TV, Mac or PC allowing them to enjoy their programming whenever and however they choose.”
Hollywood studios aren’t that interested in digital show rentals, either:
“A statement from Fox (which like this Web site is owned by News Corp.) suggests that the studio was no longer interested in rentals, either: “After carefully considering the results of the rental trial, it became clear that content ownership is a more attractive long-term value proposition both for iTunes customers and for our business. To further enhance the value of ownership, we are working with Apple to make content available within their new cloud-based service.”
A timely report was published by The Wall Street Journal this morning that hints at Apple launching a subscription service to take on competitors like Netflix. The Journal said that, “Apple is working on new technology to deliver video to televisions, and has been discussing whether to try to launch a subscription TV service.”
Apple is clearly looking to restructure how it handles and distributes digital content in the cloud, and the public launch of iCloud this Fall will definitely bring major changes.
Downloading large video files that expire after a certain amount of time was never a particularly attractive method of TV consumption, so we’re glad to see Apple pull the plug on TV show rentals.
Who’s ready for an Apple subscription service for TV and movies? We sure are.