Macworld 2008: Apple announces iTunes Movie Rentals

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macworld-keynote.jpgThis was one of the big rumours in recent weeks, and it turned out to be true. Apple has announced an iTunes Movie Rentals service, working with major studios including Sony, Paramount, Universal, Disney, Fox, and Warner Brothers, as well as Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lions Gate and New Line.

1,000 films will initially be offered through the service, they’ll be available 30 days after their DVD releases, and will be playable on Macs, PCs, iPods and the iPhone. Each rental will cost $3.99 for new films and $2.99 for older movies – you’ll have 30 days to watch them, although once you start, you’ll only have 24 hours to finish.

The Movie Rentals service goes live today in the US, but the rest of us will have to wait until later in the year. You’ll need a firmware update for your iPod and iPhone to watch them though.

Apple has now sold more than four billion songs through iTunes – it passed the milestone last week – with 20 million songs being sold on Christmas Day alone. Meanwhile, iTunes has shifted 125 million TV show downloads, and seven million movies. Interestingly, Jobs admitted that the latter two figures didn’t meet Apple’s expectations.

The company must be hoping the Movie Rentals will prove more appealing for consumers.

Check out our Macworld 2008 Keynote Liveblog for the latest news

Stuart Dredge

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