Apple Launching Online Video Rental Store

Appleflix.jpgFinancial Times is reporting that Apple is in "advanced talks with Hollywood's largest movie studios" to launch an online video rental service. Flicks will cost $3 to rent for 30 days and can be moved to at least one other device, such as an iPod or iPhone.

AU: Something like this might be much more likely to translate to the local iTunes experience than pure video sales, because there is less of the copyright red tape involved with local companies. Still some, no doubt, but rental holds much less 'fear factor' than sales. If the prices was right (and $5-ish for 30 days doesn't sound too bad) I'd give it a spin.

The move marks two major breaks from Apple's current offerings, which are download-to-own only and come solely from Disney and Paramount—a rental store with several major studios would not only shift the way users can view movies using iTunes, it would dramatically expand Apple's catalog. Not to mention the number of people using VOD, which is a boon for studios, and no doubt their incentive to come to the table.

Moreover, it makes current digital rental plans, like Xbox Live's Video Marketplace, look like they're giving customers the shaft with their comparatively measly rental windows and higher prices. Can we expect a swift reaction? The hopeful fall debut of Apple's service leaves a lot of leg room for others to step up. Perhaps more importantly, we will finally see the jump to HD on Apple's part? More details as they come.

Hollywood studios in video talks with Apple [Financial Times]