Is Apple Sending Netflix Luca Brasi's Fish?

According to the Financial Times, Apple is preparing to offer a video-on-demand download service that will offer prime content from Hollywood's major movie studios -- and at a price point and length of rental that could make tumbleweeds blow through your local video rental store and mail order rental houses.

A film would cost $2.99 for a 30-day rental. Its digital rights-management software would allow films to be moved from a computer to at least one other device such as the video iPod or iPhone. The software would prevent movies being copied.

One studio executive said the service would “compete against cable companies and anyone else offering VOD into the home”.

It's unlikely that any sort of download video rental scenario would affect DVD sales-to-own, so the major studios are very interested in finding a partner like Apple who has a proven track record with the distribution of media and an enthusiastic ready customer base for just about anything they offer.