YouTube jumps into the film rental market; rentals priced at $3.99

YouTube jumps into the film rental market; rentals priced at $3.99

Summary: YouTube isn't content just competing against ESPN - now they're going up against Netflix. Well, sort of. They won't have a vast catalog to start off with, but YouTube is entering the online rental business.

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YouTube isn't content just competing against ESPN - now they're going up against Netflix. Well, sort of. They won't have a vast catalog to start off with, but YouTube is entering the online rental business.

In partnership with the Sundance Film Festival starting today, that petite catalog will start off with five indie films: The Cove (pictured above), Bass Ackwards, One Too Many Mornings, Homewrecker and Children of Invention. They'll all be $3.99 a piece via Google’s Checkout online payment service, and only available starting Friday to the end of the film festival on Sunday, January 31.

Beyond the Festival, what does this mean for YouTube? According to The New York Times, YouTube has already been in talks with several major Hollywood studios (Sony, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate) about streaming films on the Google-owned site, and the terms will be similar to that of Apple iTunes and Netflix.

It's questionable how good the quality will be (perhaps anyone who rents the films above can let us know), and it is uncertain what kind of subscription plans they'll have.

And as someone outside the United States right now, will this rental service be available to users worldwide, or just in the U.S. and Canada, like Netflix?

Topic: Social Enterprise

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7 comments
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  • Overpriced

    Who will pay $3.99 for a questionable quality stream. Maybe $0.39.
    steve vpp
    • Agreed

      Although I'd say $0.39 is just as bad the other way. $0.99 works for me.
      Michael Kelly
  • RE: YouTube jumps into the film rental market; rentals priced at $3.99

    agreed, and that is just for the Indie films.
    I'm sure Sony won't settle for less than $4.99 per viewing. Just like the cable and satellite PPV stuff.

    Not worth it for a one time home viewing of a show.
    I'd rather give $11.00 a person to my local Movie Theater just to keep them in business, which is something that I often do.
    Bigger picture, better sound. And it gets me Out Of The House :)
    bruceslog
  • RE: YouTube jumps into the film rental market; rentals priced at $3.99

    I think these folks trying to break into the movie rental market needs to wake up and get real. If I can pay $9 for netflix per month or a dollar at a redbox, why would I pay more per movie. I only rent a streaming movie from Amazon when they put them on sale for .99.
    kjourney@...
  • RE: YouTube jumps into the film rental market; rentals priced at $3.99

    I will rather pay netflix 8.99 per month... 3.99 for one time view is costly
    coolnerd16
  • Inside the US Netflix doesn't work either

    I am inside the US but live outside the 50 states (US Virgin Islands) and am barred from using the Netflix streaming service. This is very irritating. Amazon does the same thing. I wish these companies would support all of the US and not just the continent.

    As for $3.99, a bit high IMO. All of these on demand schemes are way optimistic in terms of what users will pay. $2 for an SD movie and $3 for an HD movie is a more reasonable charge.

    Sean
    stiphy
  • RE: YouTube jumps into the film rental market; rentals priced at $3.99

    Not going to work all that well.
    You might be able to justify the $3.99 for a DOWNLOAD
    or unlimited viewing, but not a one time thing.
    You can BUY a DVD for $4 at Wal-mart after a while or
    a used DVD sooner at the Blockbuster (when they have the 5 for $20 specials every few months.)

    I'll pass, thanks.
    richard233