Apple is in discussion with major Hollywood studios about launching an online film rental service on the iTunes platform. It already offers a couple of hundred movies as well as TV series from some studios (notably Disney and Paramount) on a download-to-own basis for around $14.99 per film.
The new rental service being would offer movies for $2.99 for a 30-day ‘viewing period’. It would compete head on with online movie rental companies such as Movielink, CinemaNow and Amazon.com. It would also be a competitor to DVD rental stores and DVD-by-mail service Netflix. An imminent launch is in the offing.
In the US, the iTunes store has sold more than 50 million episodes of TV shows and two million movies but so far not really hurt DVD sales.