Apple to rent videos online?


As Dan Gillmor notes on his blog, this is contrary to Apple’s normal method of selling content. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true though. In fact, given the reliability of Think Secret (where the original article is posted), it seems likely that this will come to be. We shall have to wait a few weeks to find out, now.

With three weeks until Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Think Secret has learned exclusively that CEO Steve Jobs will use his keynote address to announce the debut of movie rentals through the iTunes Music Store. While the announcement will undoubtedly be billed as a further extension of iTunes’ dominance in digital media downloads, it represents a coup for the movie industry, which will have succeeded in standing its ground against Apple’s pressures to offer consumers the option of owning movie downloads.

. . .

Because the movies will be rented to consumers and not sold, people familiar with the situation report downloads will be coded with a date stamp that will restrict playback. It is not known exactly how the coding system will work, but industry experts tell Think Secret that the software would likely either limit the number of playbacks or provide unlimited viewing for a period of time, after which the movie will be “turned off” and no longer available.

. . .

“The subscription business makes sense for everybody. We’ll all make money. But more importantly, it’s a different beast from music and no one—not even Steve Jobs—is blind to that,” the insider said.

So watch what Apple has to say in the coming weeks and find out if you’ll soon be renting movies from Apple to go with all the music you are already buying.

[tags]Apple,, Dan Gillmor, Downloadable video rental[/tags]