According to a new report from the WSJ (subscription required), Apple is apparently working hard to get movie studios to allow the purchase and streaming of movies via the recently launch iCloud system. The company is apparently looking to put movies from the iTunes Online Store into iCloud so that those movies could be streamed to any device, at any time, subject to having an internet connection and subject to the fact that the movies had to be purchased from the iTunes Store i.e. no movie matching in the manner of iTunes match.
This certainly isn’t the first time that this has been reported upon, merely a reiteration that Apple is still deep in negotiations with the movie studios to allow the unlimited streaming of purchased movies. The biggest obstacle to this is the ‘HBO Effect’ whereby HBO gains exclusive rights to movies from certain studios meaning that they could not be shown in any other place. It’s likely, therefore, that this is one of the reasons that the negotiations are taking place.
Given the repeated nature and multiple sources of this report, it seems that Apple is working hard to get this feature into iCloud. Apple already allows the re-downloading of previously purchased music, TV shows and apps from iCloud, so adding movies to this seems like a natural progression.
One could also be forgiven for speculating that Apple could also be working on a subscription video service. However, this was recently vetoed by CNET who suggested that an Apple subscription video service i.e. unlimited content for one single monthly fee, would not be happening in the near, or the distant, future.
This type of feature would be an excellent addition for users who are looking to minimise the amount of content stored on their hard drives. Given the movie by Apple towards SSD storage in the MacBook Air, a movie streaming feature in iCloud would likely be a welcome feature.