It seems that the rumors surrounding the introduction of iTunes Replay that delivers cloud movie streaming might have swirled way too soon, as insiders who are more intimate with Apple than most have suggested that Apple is still short on deals with at least four out of the six major movie studios – representing a 67% shortfall. To put it in plain business parlance, any deal which might arise to make iTunes Replay possible would be months away – and this too, is the optimistic viewpoint.
Of course, this does not take away the fact that Apple did manage to snag some agreements to stream purchased TV shows, followed by downloading them again on devices that have permanent storage. When it comes to movies, however, the rules have been tightened, and 50% of the studios do provide HBO short-term exclusive access for DVDs where it will artificially block downloads and streaming during that timeframe.
It would be interesting to see how all of this pans out in the end – surely the market is large enough to contain several players, but how many of them are able to last the distance in this dog-eat-dog environment? Amazon Instant Video and Vudu currently deliver direct streaming for movie rentals and purchases, with the inclusion of new releases on DVD simultaneously at times, and studios could be holding their cards close to their chest in hopes of better terms so that Apple won’t have too much of a free reign of things in the end. Do you have the patience to wait for iTunes Replay?