So Mrs G fancied watching Iron Man 2 on Sunday, and we duly checked the Apple TV, since we’d bookmarked the movie a while back. Oddly, there was only a preview and no rental option, on both the UK and US stores. Remembering that The Social Network and Salt both recently vanished from the store, we figured this was yet another movie studio playing silly buggers and decided to rewatch Sherlock Holmes instead… which also wasn’t available.

Naturally, both movies are available to buy on iTunes, which isn’t much cop in the UK, given that you can’t buy movies through Apple TV yet. And even if you could, it’s insane that studios are now only allowing short-term digital rentals, before they leave buying a movie as the only option. With Iron Man 2, that’s doubly insane, since the iTunes purchase costs twice what the DVD does on Amazon. And in our case, it was an impulse decision anyway. We didn’t think the movie was amazing first time round and we certainly don’t want to own it, but a few quid for a one-off rental would have been fine.

In the mind of movie-studio execs, here’s how this all plays out:

  1. Release movie for digital rental and watch as loads of people rent during the first few weeks. MAKE MONEY!
  2. Remove movie from rental and watch as people buy the movie instead. MAKE MOAR MONEY!

What happens in reality:

  1. Release movie for digital rental and watch as loads of people rent during the first few weeks. MAKE MONEY!
  2. Remove movie from rental and don’t understand as people watch something else instead. MAKE NO MOAR MONEY!