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A new Hollywood pitch for Apple?

New reports say Apple is going to open an online movie rental store.

Another Apple conference, another turn on the rumor mill.

As Steve Jobs gets ready for his keynote address at Apple's World Wide Developer Conference this week, bloggers are buzzing about a report in the Financial Times that says the company is in talks with major Hollywood studios to launching an online movie rental business.

Apple already sells movies for download through iTunes, but the paper said the studios are more interested in the rental business, which they see as less threatening to DVD sales. According to the article, films would cost $2.99 for a 30-day rental and could be copied from a computer to a mobile device like an iPod.

Hollywood and Apple have long had a contentious relationship; will this finally signal detente between the two sides?

Blog community response:

"A rental store with several major studios would not only shift the way users can view movies using iTunes, it would dramatically expand Apple's catalog. Not to mention the number of people using VOD, which is a boon for studios, and no doubt their incentive to come to the table."

"The company's vision that a huge library of films and TV content would be available for purchase rather than rental has been abandoned for now in favor of a systems that studios find more palatable. Whether Apple can use this foot in the door to get studios to allow for permanent downloads is anyone's guess."
--Blogging Stocks

"Apple's power should give the studios great pause before they agree to hand over their crown jewels to the Cupertino-based giant. However, reading between the lines of Garrahan's piece, it sounds like Apple is willing to give Hollywood a bigger revenue split than the film industry has been getting from cable's VOD service. That alone could explain the studio's sudden warmth toward Apple."
--IP & Democracy