Releasing a new music or video service requires a lot of contract negotiations between record studios and the company wishing to make use of the copyrighted materials. Last week rumors circulated that Apple was on the cusp of releasing both iTunes Replay as well as a Netflix competitor in the relatively near future.
As it turns out, those kinds of predictions were a little bit hasty. CNET has published an article, citing an unnamed source, pointing out that Apple has only signed “cloud agreements” with four of the top six film studios.
A failure to procure the proper rights to let users stream video content like Netflix does currently, or even let users re-download their previously purchased content like the iTunes Replay rumor suggests could mean that a release of either product could be months away.
According to the circulating rumor, Apple’s iTunes Replay would let consumers redownload previously purchased videos without incurring extra costs. There’s also some speculation that the technology would let users stream content to their Apple TVs instead of having to download movies to iTunes and then streaming the video locally across the network.
There are few rumors that make sense. Most consist of pipe-dream, link-bait titles, and very little substance, but the iTunes Replay and Netflix competitor rumors probably make the most sense of any recent rumors relating to Apple’s lineup. Why? Well, because the move screams Apple.
Apple’s known for embracing the future long before their competition. I mean, they killed the CD-ROM, Floppy Drive, and other technologies long before the industry was ready to do the same. People want to be able to get their content on demand. A lot of companies have been working on that for a while now, most notably Netflix. Apple won’t sit by idly while Netflix continues to threaten the iTunes video distribution model. Strategically, the iTunes Replay rumors would make sense for Apple, which is something that can’t be said for most of the rumors circulating the Internet these days.
But, iTunes Replay isn’t exactly a hot new rumor, is it? Anyone smart enough to head to Google and type ‘iTunes Replay’ will be met with a rumor from 2009, written by the fine folks over at AppleInsider, titled, Apple prepping iTunes Replay on-demand video service. The rumor from the past is essentially the same rumor as the one from last week. The only major difference is the reference back then is talking about iTunes 8 and streaming to iTunes instead of the Apple TV. If anything, we can see that the iTunes Replay service has been circulating the rumor mill for three years now. Either Apple’s really working on getting this thing perfect before shipping it out of the door, or we’re projecting our wants on the Cupertino company.
Ground Hog Day anyone?