So first you’re like, I can rent movies from YouTube? You can, but up until now the service hasn’t been widely marketed or used. Google, YouTube’s parent company, intends to change all that. Google is negotiating with major Hollywood studios to stream movies from their catalogs to a pay-per-view basis by the end of the year, according to a report in the Financial Times (subscription required).
The service is expected to stream movies on demand for $5 each, according to reports.
The move would put Google in competition with Apple and its Apple TV service and Netflix, which early this month signed a five-year deal worth nearly $1 billion to stream movies from Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM. The other well known streaming service Hulu, is also reportedly considering an initial public offering.
People have long since expected YouTube to jump into the video-on-demand market, though up until now nothing has materialized.
YouTube first delved into rentals in January with a test in conjunction with the Sundance Film Festival, making five films presented at the festival to be temporarily rented. It seems that went well enough for Google to get serious about this. My question to you though is, would you seriously rent movies from YouTube? Personally, I like my Netflix and Hulu is good occasionally, but to be honest I don’t know if I will ever see YouTube as more than the place that serves weird viral videos, anyone want to see a dog surfboard?