Apple’s move into online movie rentals is setting right another misconception (this time, one of THEIR own): Online movie rentals are the way to go and pricing models matter. As Seth Godin points out… Free ain’t going to cut it. He posits 99 cents. I dunno about that. Apple’s probably taking it in the shorts badly at that pricepoint. ‘Course having a premium tiering for HD is absolutely right. The model of rent v. buy is going to have a halo effect on BUYING too.
No one’s really glommed onto this little tidbit yet (‘cept maybe those wiley folks at Apple). Imagine all the content we’re going to have less expensive access to in the form of rentals. If Apple will create just one more tier like “Rent now and apply $2 to purchase price of the movie within 60 days”… I bet they’d get a big boost in their movie sales. Frankly, if I rent something from Blockbuster now and like it… I typically buy it. I may be odd guy out on that one. Still, it’s a bit of programming on their part and they’re still net ahead of the game. As it is, when a rental expires… all the cookie crumbs of that transaction evaporate. Seems like wasted energy to me. They could covert a fraction of us to upgraded owners with just a little more effort.
Apple sure doesn’t need our help Monday morning quarterbacking their business models. They’re doing okie dokie without us meddling kids running around. :)