Movie RentalsComing to YouTube?
YouTube, in its quest to become profitable, has been acquiring the rights for premium, advertising-friendly content. Beyond redesigning to feature shows, the company has been talking with movie studios about hosting their films on its service, including Sony and MGM.
Now a report from The Wall Street Journal confirms that YouTube is deeply interested in getting movie content in its website. However, the format might be a little different than expected. Instead of streaming movies and placing advertising to generate revenue, the site may be adopting the Netflix and Apple approach and streaming movies on a rental basis.
The WSJ report indicates that Lionsgate, Sony, and Warner Brothers are all potential partners for this new rental model, although the talks are still ongoing. It seems that most movies will be available on a per-rental basis, although some will be free but with advertising. The first phase of the implementation, if it proceeds, will feature 10,000 lucky testers of the rental service – all of them Google employees.
The move makes sense for both sides. Make rentals easy to find and easy to access, and give a few gems away to the consumer to generate additional interest. This could also affect the development of Epix, the “Hulu (Hulu) for movies” recently created by Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate, who is also involved in the YouTube talks. [mashable]
Of course, YouTube is notorious for having strict regional control on some of it’s content, denying a large segment of internet users from accessing TV shows and films. With this in mind, this news is probably nothing for Kiwis to get excited about as it’s initially rollout at least, is bound to be constrained within the territorial boundaries of the good old US of A.