When the second generation Apple TV was released last year, one of the primary draws was that it allowed you to rent and stream TV shows for .99c per-episode directly from the box itself. That ability, along with the ability to do so in iTunes itself has been quietly removed the from Apple TV and iTunes, reports All Things D.
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said that “iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows. iTunes in the Cloud lets customers download and watch their past TV purchases from their iOS devices, Apple TV, Mac or PC allowing them to enjoy their programming whenever and however they choose.”
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The general consensus as to why Apple chose to drop TV show rentals is that they were just never all that popular. Although Fox and ABC signed on to offer shows through the service, many other major players never chimed in. this meant that selections were relatively limited. The pay-to-rent model has proven to be very popular with movies, but not so much with TV programming, which typically holds less single-serving value in the eyes of consumers.
Now, with the advent of iCloud and the ability to purchase a show or movie once and download it everywhere, the necessity of having a large streaming component is lower than ever. Although you can currently only re-download shows from iCloud, it seems inevitable that you will be able to stream video and audio content from the service eventually.
This would effectively make every purchase available for streaming on any of your devices from Mac to iPhone and iPad.