Extending movie rentals: Apple needs some Vudu mojo

Yesterday I read an interesting post on Gizmodo about how the Vudu set-top box now lets you extend expired movie rentals for a discounted price.

Although I couldn't find any information on the Vudu Web site, Patrick Cosson, the company's VP of marketing, confirmed that:

"We now offer a discount if you rent a movie a second time if ordered within 7 days of the first rental. If you re-rent it, you can store the movie for another 30 days before viewing it for 24 hours."

The specific discounts are as follows: HD new releases are $2 off the $5.99 original rental price; SD new releases or HD library titles are $1 off the $3.99 original rental price; SD library titles are $1 off the $2.99 or $1.99 original rental price; and SD classic titles are $0.50 off the $0.99 original rental price.

First off, I say kudos to Vudu. It's a great idea. But that begs an obvious question: Why doesn't Apple offer the same thing for iTunes and the Apple TV? As we've pointed out in the past, sometimes a 24-hour windows isn't enough for busy people to finish watching a movie. And even though there is a workaround to extend your iTunes movie rentals, Apple should take Vudu's cue and give its rental customers the option to rent unfinished movies again for a reduced price.

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