2 interesting stories popped up on MacRumors today:
Apple has told the studios that under the plan, iTunes users will access video from various Internet-connected devices. Apple would, of course, prefer that users access video from the iPad, the company’s upcoming tablet computer, the sources said.
Imagine that Netflix offers its subscribers the ability to instantly watch movies & TV episodes on their iPhone. The selection availability to instantly watch includes some new releases, lots of classics and TV episodes. There are no advertisements or trailers, and movies start in as little as 30 seconds. You can fast-forward, rewind, and pause or watch again. The movies & TV episodes you instantly watch are included in your Netflix membership for no additional fee.
Now I admit, I only feel lukewarm about the iPad. As of right now I feel like the iPad nano (my iPhone) is a better fit in my life than a 10″ touchscreen device. But I find these developments interesting. I am a Netflix subscriber and I watch Netflix streaming every once in awhile. I like the fact that it’s part of a subscription service I already have (3 at a time DVDs). Netflix is doing this right. Same thing with Hulu. Granted, Hulu has spoken publicly about switching to a paid model, the rumors are pointing to a subscription model and not a la carte.
This is where Apple gets it wrong with iTunes. I don’t want to buy TV shows for $1.99 each. To me, TV shows for the most part are disposable. There are only a few TV series that I would want to watch multiple times, ie, The Simpsons, The Office, etc. But most TV shows I just want to watch once, ie, The Daily Show, 24, Mythbusters, etc. Like bottled water, I just can’t justify buying something I will only use once, and that includes media. Therefore, I would be very interested in a subscription video service that works with my iPhone. But at the same time, I don’t want to pay through the nose, especially if I’m paying for overlap. If Netflix offers a streaming for the iPhone/iPad, I don’t want to pay for this in addition to the computer streaming service. Gizmodo addressed this concern in a very over the top, but still plausible way. According to the first story above, this is a major concern of the movie studios. If you purchase a digital copy of a movie, it should work on every gadget that you want to watch it on. This is an interesting stance considering it’s now illegal, according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, to rip a DVD you own to watch on your iPod.
Lastly, Apple needs to drop the price of their iTunes Movie Rentals. $3 to $5? I pass 3 Redboxes on my way home from work and those are $1 each.