Home > business, smugmug > Apple + Movies = They don't quite get it (yet?)

Apple + Movies = They don't quite get it (yet?)

September 12, 2006

By now, you’ve probably heard – Apple is finally providing DVD resolution full-length movie downloads. Better yet, they have a set-top box arriving in Q1 2007 and it sounds like it’s close to perfect. It’s not going to try to be some crazy media-center that replaces your DVD player and your TiVo and everything else. Instead, or so we hope, it’ll just focus on finally bringing downloadable content into your home theater.

But there are a few gotchas in the picture. The biggest one is so obvious, I can’t believe Apple hasn’t thought of it. Let me break it down, even though you probably already get this. Everyone gets it – but Apple.

  • Most people like to buy or subscribe to music, not rent it. Why? Because you listen to your favorite songs hundreds and thousands of times.
  • Most people like to rent their movies. Why? Because you don’t watch the average movie more than once, and even the above average movie more than a few times. Only an exceptional few really get watched over and over again (Disney, luckily for Apple, happens to generate a ton of these with their children’s movies.)

So where on earth is the humongous-rental-store-in-the-sky that’s open 24/7 for us?

People love pay-per-view because they get instant gratification. People hate pay-per-view because the selection sucks.

People love Netflix because the selection rocks. People hate Netflix because they don’t get instant gratification.

Does it really take a rocket scientist to see what Apple’s pre-announcement today should have been? Apple’s codename iTV should really be the “$299 24/7 gigantic rental store in your living room” device. Hopefully Netflix does it right and then Apple will see the light.

Oh, and what’s up with Dolby Surround in the downloads? Dolby Digital has been around a long time and it’s the de-facto standard. Why go with an ancient surround format?

PS – I know this is shameless, but if anyone from TiVo reads my blog, I’d dearly love to beta test the Series 3. We’d like to get SmugMug working on it. 🙂

EDIT: Wow, what timing. Series 3 is available for purchase today. Already ordered mine. Thanks TiVo!

Categories: business, smugmug
  1. KB
    September 13, 2006 at 1:28 pm

    I have to totally agree with you on this one, too. That makes perfect sense. They should offer a rental with an option for a discounted buyout in case you like it and decide you want to keep it.

    On another note, I’m disappointed that Disney is the only studio whose movies are available for download at iTunes (I think that’s right). Maybe they will expand their television section to compensate. I’d love to see a complete series of a show online and available at discounted pricing instead of just one or two seasons. Sadly, it looks like I will still be ripping DVD’s more often than not.

    I’m hoping the iTV device will be as good as it sounds! Having video on my iPod is great when traveling, but at home I want to kick back and watch the big screen.

    P.S. – Props for the Digg button. That’s pretty cool. You need to have your designer whip up one for you that looks good on a black backround.

  2. September 13, 2006 at 1:56 pm

    So does this mean that everything is all good between you guys and TiVo now?

  3. R Chien
    October 4, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    This would be ideal for the consumers, but wouldn’t it mean less overall revenue for the movie industry?

  4. Steve
    October 17, 2006 at 11:55 pm

    I have a TiVo S3 too… I decided to buy it instead of a MacMini for our family room TV, because of the great TiVo PVR experience. I totally agree on the movie thing, but let’s see TiVo do it!! Once upon a time, there were rumors of Netflix doing something with TiVo. I think the time has come. Let us download and watch movies from Netflix on our (broadband-connected) TiVo! While we’re at it, how about GooTube, etc. too?

  1. September 12, 2006 at 3:35 pm
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