Despite a big push to make TV rentals one of the strongest selling points of the Apple TV, Apple has decided to pull the plug on the 99-cent TV rental service previously available on the iTunes Store. Instead, users will now have to purchase the episodes.
The reason, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr explained to AllThingsDigital, is that customers rather overwhelmingly preferred to purchase individual episodes, or a season pass, rather than going for the cheaper rental alternative.
“iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows,” Neumayr said. “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.”
Consumers weren’t the only group that the TV rentals service didn’t catch on with. A statement from Fox suggests they weren’t quite on board, either.
“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. To further enhance the value of ownership, we are working with Apple to make content available within their new cloud-based service.”
If Apple doesn’t have something up their sleeve to replace TV rentals, I’d be wholly surprised. Perhaps it has something to do with the newly-resurfaced Apple HDTV rumors?