Apple is getting ready to formally announce the launch of its online movie rental business, the AP reports. Fox is already on board, as the FT reported yesterday, and other studios are expected to follow in making their movies available for rent through iTunes. Apple's also planning a widespread licensing deal for its FairPlay anti-piracy technology.
The popularity of Apple's iPodmedia players is expected to give a big boost to digital movie distribution. Movie sales on iTunes have been logging a long way behind music sales, but consumers haven't yet had the option of renting. "People want to watch movies but not necessarily own them," an expert noted.