Friday, December 28, 2007
Apple and Fox have agreed to offer the latter's movie and TV titles for rent via Apple's iTunes platform. This makes videos available via the iPhone, iPod and Apple TV. While now the demand for full-length content on these devices is about as small as an iPod screen, the deal could save Apple TV from obvilion.
Apple TV was lame when it debuted nearly a year ago, and Apple has done nothing to shore up the device thus far. No content selection and no rentals have doomed the TV gadget, but perhaps adding rentals will revive it.
Apple will need just more than Fox to provide content if it wants to compete with Netflix, Amazon/Tivo and Blockbuster. HP and WalMart have killed their online rental programs, an indication of how fierce competition is. Apple will also have to develop some innovate subscription plans if it wants to compete. Perhaps a free three month subscription to rentals with the purchase of a box?
I'm not sold than a lot of folks will want to watch a 2 hour movie on a tiny screen, so Apple TV is the key to making this deal a success. And without a viable rental program, the Apple TV's future is as a collector's item.