Apple May Have Blown It When It Decided to Discontinue TV Show Rentals via iTunes


apple itunes the simpsons rent buy screenshot

After reading the news that Apple decided to “pull the plug” on TV show rentals in iTunes, it left me wondering if this was a brilliant or dumb move on Apple’s part. You can say that Apple made a smart move financially by dropping the low margin 99¢ TV show rental offerings that, apparently, people weren’t too interested in. Options now are: purchase an individual episode or purchase a “Season Pass” (screenshot).

I’d argue, however, that Apple pulled the trigger too early. Why? You may have heard about FOX’s new 8-day delay window that other TV networks are also considering implementing. The new arrangement essentially lets cable / satellite partners get first dibs on newly aired programming for their authenticated users to stream online through sites like Hulu and FOX.com.

As you can imagine, people aren’t too thrilled by the fact that they need to wait 8-days to “catch up” on their favorite programming. As such, the opportunity for Apple to offer these shows and make big money off non-cable subscribers is easily apparent. I’d wager that if people knew that they could grab a show they missed for 99¢ the next day, they’d probably do it. Of course, that wouldn’t have been the case previously when FOX.com was offering shows for viewing the following day for FREE.




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