Apple’s iTunes the new Netflix?

Last Updated: April 19, 2014By Tags: ,

Even though it likely has no real effect on my disk space one of the things I find annoying about watching iTunes movie rentals is the fact that you have to download them: it takes time, you have to mind the process. The other annoying thing is those pesky, bright-red reminders telling you that if you don’t watch your movie by the twenty four-hour deadline your head will explode and you will be instantly replaced by an Apple bot (OK Dave Barry, you can get out of my thoughts now).

This inconvenience is about to be remedied. I read several mentions today of the impending deal between Apple and “movie studios” (it’s not entirely clear how many or which ones) that will allow iTunes access to a larger trove of movies and its users to stream them directly from Apple’s new iCloud service, which at the moment does not store video content.

So this could be big for a number of reasons: that means that studios are also looking at third-party services like Apple’s iTune as a plausible distribution scheme (studios have their own movie-streaming thing going, à la Netflix–it’s called Ultraviolet); it also may mean that iTunes, having become the biggest purveyor (and therefore trend-setter) of music, may also become our main movie streams provider, given their level of success with music. But, well, there is that little company called Netflix who’s already taking up about 60% of America’s bandwidth with their streaming offering, so we’ll have to see how that plays out.