Image via Sydney Morning Herald
BusinessWeek reports that sources claim Apple has a deal with Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount, and Lionsgate to allow sales, rentals or both through iTunes. If so, this could prove a huge boon for Apple. At last year’s All Things D conference, CEO Steve Jobs referred to its digital television device business as “a hobby.” Though promising an iPod for the living room, the AppleTV has been quite slow to catch on by Apple’s recent standards. That’s according to sales estimates from analysts and also anecdotal evidence: I’ve been to a lot of geeks’ houses in San Francisco and never seen a single AppleTV in the living room.
At this point, I’m ready to admit that Apple’s assumptions for the movie market were flat-out wrong — barely anyone wants to own movies in download format alone. I haven’t bought a single film myself, but there have been plenty of times when I would gladly rent a movie download — it’s faster than NetFlix and easier than walking down the street to Blockbuster. At the same time, for the movies I love, I want a tangible artifact to hold onto. I want to explore their special features and revisit favorite scenes. At the moment, Apple’s downloads are worse than what I can get at the store. But a rental? Heck, if it means staying on the coach, I’m in. Especially if it’s less than $3.