Apple seems to have removed $0.99 TV show rentals from iTunes and Apple TV. In a statement provided to Wall Street Journal technology blog, All Things D, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr explained:
“iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows. 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.”
Fox seems to confirm the reasoning:
“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.”
Apple announced $0.99 TV Show rentals are part of the all new, all streaming Apple TV in 2010 but never got all the US networks on board, nor did they manage to roll the service out beyond the US. While networks likely felt $0.99 undervalued their content, let's be clear -- it overvalued it. $100 for 100 hours of non-repeatable TV is ridiculous. Subscriptions, which Apple has reportedly been pursuing, make far more sense at scale and volume. Whether the networks will ever agree to that or not is the question. (And at this point there's no evidence iCloud, despite its ideal positioning, will be part of the answer.)
At least we can take some comfort in the fact that nature has shown in knows what to do to dinosaurs.