Amidst all the rumors and rampant speculation surrounding Apple’s original TV/video content endeavors, we can be certain of at least one thing: Cupertino really wants to bring the movie theater to your living room in a way that has never been done before. This so-called ‘home rental’ initiative could see the average consumer eventually being able to rent films only available in theaters from a device like their Apple TV allowing them to enjoy cinematic releases from the comfort and convenience of home (albeit at a premium, of course.)
As conceptually awesome as it sounds, the home rental initiative has been a somewhat contentious fight for Apple, who’s ongoing talks with Hollywood executives have so far proven that not everyone is on the same page. Big movie studios like Warner Brothers have been working to find new and innovative ways to get people to go to the movies, and especially for new ways to generate revenue as ticket and concession sales continue to decline. While Apple has been at the heart of a lot of these talks, having previously met with Comcast and various movie studio executives, it’s largely been the studios who’ve been most hesitant to strike a deal — primarily due to the complexities of their existing contracts with theater chains.
But Maybe There’s Hope?
Interestingly, in a report published this week by Bloomberg, the head of 20th Century FOX appeared to suggest that a deal for home rentals could be reached within the next year. The comments come from FOX Studio’s chief, Stacey Snider, who boldly alleged that consumers will soon be able to rent movies while they’re still in theaters for “less than $50.” Snider went on to note that while negotiations have stalled in recent months, “talks have started to coalesce around a concept.”
Of course, specific information (such as how long after their release rentals would be available to customers at home) remains unknown, Snider’s comments are at the least bound to excite fans of the home rental idea as Apple has been envisioning it. We unfortunately don’t know any of the technical details right now, either, like exactly how much rentals would cost; but the mere fact that we now have a tentative timetable, outlined by a credible source in the industry, is a pretty clear indication that we should know more soon enough.