Apple is reportedly quite busy crafting the ultimate iTunes flex: way earlier access to movies. Sources "with knowledge of the matter" told Bloomberg Wednesday that the tech company was "pressing" several major Hollywood studios about shortening the gap between theatrical release and iTunes availability. In fact, some studio execs are even calling for home rentals to be available as early as two short weeks after a movie hits theaters.
Universal Pictures, 21st Century Fox, and Warner Bros. are all said to be in the market for a system that would offer what's being described as "high-priced" VOD rentals. A leading option, Bloomberg reported, is to offer these premium rentals at prices ranging from $25 to $50 to both "satisfy a growing consumer appetite" and discourage piracy.
Several large movie theater chains have seen their shares decline in 2016. Regal Entertainment Group, for example, slid as much as 1.9 percent. While it's hard to argue that the traditional theatrical experience is totally dead when considering seemingly contradictory factors like Disney still being able to easily bag billions at the box office, the future (for the everyday moviegoer, anyway) clearly lies in streamlining the home viewing experience.
Apple's music division, meanwhile, recently hit 20 million paid subscribers. "We can't forget that, as an industry, we still have very few music subscribers," Eddy Cue, Apple's Senior Vice President of internet software and products, told Billboard of the Apple Music milestone Tuesday. "There are billions of people listening to music and we haven’t even hit 100 million subscribers. There's a lot of growth opportunity." If these studio talks go a certain direction, maybe Apple can bring that spirit to movies.