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New iTunes Software Expands Movie Rental Capability

22 Mar, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel



More than nine years after Apple iTunes launched movie rentals, the digital sellthrough and transactional video-on-demand platform now makes it possible to watch a movie or TV show across multiple Apple devices.

Through a free software upgrade (iTunes 12.6), the so-called “rent once, watch anywhere” feature no longer requires users to watch rented content on the original device.

Previously, if you rented a movie or TV show on a Mac and transferred it via USB or AirPlay to an iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro or iPod, it disappeared from your iTunes library. The idea was to dissuade users from sharing content with other Apple devices.

The new software now makes any rental title available across all supported Apple devices simultaneously. The feature requires iOS 10.3 and tvOS software upgrades, which Apple reportedly will be rolling out in the near future.

Users are still limited to 30 days to start watching a movie after renting it — in addition to 24 hours (in the U.S.) or 48 hours (elsewhere) to finish watching it. You can still watch a movie as often as you like until it expires. If you don’t start watching a movie within 30 days of transaction, you must rent it again.

The software upgrade comes as iTunes movie rental usage is softening. The percent of consumers using the platform to rent content last year dropped to 8.3% from 9.3%, according to a survey of 3,100 respondents conducted by TiVo-owned Digitalsmiths.
 


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