Apple already promotes movies that are in theaters with trailers and the ability to pre-order months ahead of time on iTunes. Now the company may be pushing movie studios on letting customers rent movies at home for a premium shortly after they hit theaters.
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Bloomberg reports that Apple wants to offer home rentals for new movies two weeks after they’re released in theaters. Currently, most new movies are available for renting on iTunes after a short period of only being available for purchase.
21st Century Fox Inc., Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. and Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures all confirmed over the past week that they are looking to offer high-priced, home-video rentals of new movies shortly after they open in theaters.
While the report notes that Apple is “pressing Hollywood studios for earlier access to movies,” it also notes that its movie studios specifically that are looking to make a deal for early premium rentals.
Bloomberg says that Apple’s iTunes platform has been considered an option for this arrangement, encryption and securing movies that are still in theaters is a major concern:
While Apple encrypts iTunes video files so they can’t easily be duplicated, it’s possible to use a camera to record a movie playing on a TV screen. A leak of picture that’s still in theaters would jeopardize returns for the studios and cinema owners.
Finally, if such a premium service is introduced on iTunes, the report notes that the price tag for early rentals of movies still in theaters would also carry a premium: between $25 and $50.
The new report comes as Apple continues its effort to position the Apple TV (and iPhone and iPad) as the future of TV with apps like iTunes at the center of that vision.
This week Apple rolled out its new single sign-on feature that works with various cable providers to make authenticating paid video apps easier, and later this month Apple is expected to release its new TV app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.