YouTube working with (some) movie studios to offer film rental service

Summary:YouTube already offers some film rentals on its massive video site, but the Google-owned company is working on the final details of a bigger effort to bring movies from major studios to its rental lineup. Three studios -- Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros.

YouTube already offers some film rentals on its massive video site, but the Google-owned company is working on the final details of a bigger effort to bring movies from major studios to its rental lineup. Three studios -- Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. -- have already signed on to the effort, according to the New York Times.

An official announcement by YouTube is expected soon, but this will be an a la carte service, making it more of an iTunes competitor than a Netflix rival. Disney, Fox, and Paramount are apparently balking at joining the service, and since they account for 60 percent of the market, this will be a major hole.

Right now, Lionsgate Entertainment provides films for rent on YouTube for $2 to $4 a pop, which seems in line with what the major studios would charge. It's unclear if there are any bells and whistles that YouTube will offer with the service that will make it stand out from the competition, but most important for the site will be another way to bring in revenue while making nice with Hollywood. The studios, after all, have long complained about their content being illegally uploaded to the site and not being able to pull it down quickly or easily enough.

If you're not a Netflix subscriber or part of the Apple ecosystem, YouTube could become a go-to service for renting new videos online, though Facebook is looking to venture into the same space. Does a YouTube movie rental service interest you? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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