Apple has stopped its 99 cent (€0.68) TV show rentals from the iTunes Store. Instead, US customers are now only able to buy single episodes of TV series at a cost of $2 for the SD version and $3 for HD.
Apple introduced rentals of individual episodes last September when Apple announced its revamped $99 Apple TV device, which acts as a set top box to deliver content to TVs.
However, the model apparently failed to have an impact on consumers. Most US networks did not contribute programming to the service and there is stiff competition from Hulu Plus and the likes. Also, Apple never rolled out the service outside of the US.
In a statement provided Apple, spokesman Tom Neumayr explained: “iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows. 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.”
“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,” Fox said in a statement, confirming the move. “To further enhance the value of ownership, we are working with Apple to make content available within their new cloud-based service.”
The removal of TV rentals promptly spurred more speculation of a new Apple TV subscription service, which would compete with Hulu. Netflix, Amazon and others.