YouTube offers movie rentals; beginning with Sundance festival faves
YouTube, the world's most popular video sharing website, is getting into the video rental business. Last September, it was announced that the site was in talks with major studios to rent newly released movies online.
Yesterday it was announced that YouTube would offer five movies from the 2010 and 2009 Sundance film festival programming for online rental. This marks the first time that YouTube will offer pay-per-view programming. The Sundance movies will be available for rent from Friday, January 22 through Sunday, January 31. Titles include THE COVE, a documentary about dolphin killing that played last year, and this year's entries BASS ACKWARDS (a road movie) and the romantic comedy HOMEWRECKERS. Rounding out the list are ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS and CHILDREN OF INVENTION. All of the Sundance films (with the exception of one) are being offered for $3.99 with a 48 hour rental period.
In the next few months we can expect YouTube to start offering television shows and feature films from major studios for rental. ITunes, Xbox Live, and Amazon are examples of other companies with similar agreements, all of which offer movie rentals for between $1.99 and $3.99 each, with a 24 hour viewing period.
YouTube currently generates revenue through its ad-supported business model, while YouTube Movies allows viewers to watch selected feature length movies, shorts, and trailers online for free. This new development will allow content providers the option to provide video for a fee, rather than streaming it for free with advertising. Content providers can set their own prices and YouTube will take a share of the profits.
Source L.A. Times Blog