YouTube to potentially offer movie rentals in the future

YouTube has always been a great source of videos, be they commercially made or from individuals around the community. Occasionally, you get a person uploading full movies illegally, which of course get shot down soon after, providing not much benefit to anybody. According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the company in charge of YouTube, Google, is currently in discussions that could lead to it providing online movie rentals which will help it compete against the likes of Apple's iTunes Store, plus providing better content for its users.

The Wall Street Journal said that, "YouTube is talking to Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Sony Corp., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. about charging for new titles on the existing YouTube site. In some cases, these titles might be available on the site on the same day that they come out on DVD." MacRumors stated that the rentals would be priced around $3.99, and that the agreements would differ between each studio; some are reported to be allowing free rentals, with advertisements included, which will probably prove very popular.

There hasn't been a time frame given regarding when the service would be available, but it's said that soon a three month testing period will begin, involving about 10,000 employees of Google. It was initially meant to begin early this month, though complications with the movie studios are holding it back. If this is to be reality, there will hopefully be some type of formal announcement by the end of this year.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Google patent for minimalistic home page approved

Next Story

Microsoft: Throw a Windows 7 house party and get a free copy

17 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It's hard to imagine that YouTube can be a real threat to real video watching.

Personally I don't watch anything less than true 720p (1080p preferred), and YouTube's qualiy is only good enough for short amusing clips (even in their HD mode).

I prefer to rent from Netflix and Blockbuster with Blu-ray discs. The qualiy is just so much better.

By the way, I recently signed up for a Free SIX-WEEK trial of Blockbuster. That's just so much better than the usual short 2-week trial.

In case anyone is interested, you can find the details here: http://www.uberi.com

renting movies on youtube? it won't work. (lucky for me we don't have this) many ISPs put caps on their service ranging from 2gb to 250gb. on average my household rated a 1tb dataflow per day. my brother torrents, i watch youtube vids alllll day, so does my sis on her pc... you can imagine the entertainment we get on a daily basis. 1TB of data a DAY! don't tell me people are actually going to PAY for "data" online when they can get it free elsewhere. the caps will further turn them off from the idea of PAYING FOR DATA!

ahhell said,
What kind of video quality are we talking?
Even Youtube HD sucks ass.

What?

You're clearly watching the wrong videos. Even HD videos I've uploaded look absolutely amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOczmVcWvAc

Check out that one from above. There's no possible way you can say that sucks ass, unless you're running it full screen on something crazy big like a 30" monitor, then yeah, of course it won't look great. But would any 720p video look that great?

Yeah, pretty much all of them have been bad quality when changed to full screen as it wasn't the intended size. I don't see this taking off as I don't want to watch a movie in a certain sized dimensions to stop it looking smudged/blocky when going full screen.

ahhell said,
What kind of video quality are we talking?
Even Youtube HD sucks ass.

YouTube "HD" isn't HD (read: 720p and up).

Ad-based, free, new movies? Count me in - I'd be up for that. I couldn't really care whether it's on my computer.

Who needs to rent movies when the latest ones are available for free, and you can buy older ones on DVD for a few dollars.

Firefox Video Download Helper 4.6.2 lists the sites, and they don't seem to be shutting them down. Sadly I'm not interested in the latest movies, so don't tend to bother much! I won't post my favourite site at the risk of a rude PM from a NeoWin enforcer!

I like this because youtubes popularity might expose even more poeple to online movie rentals and bring us one step closer to the day we no longer need to actually own a bunch of 20 dollars discs that sometimes get lost or scratched. Plus it will help the environment. But seriously netflix ftw.

why would I want to rent movies from youtube? itunes to appletv, netflix to xbox, etc I can understand because in the end you could watch them on a TV. I would never pay for something I could only watch on my computer screen all 20 inchs of it.

macrosslover said,
why would I want to rent movies from youtube? itunes to appletv, netflix to xbox, etc I can understand because in the end you could watch them on a TV. I would never pay for something I could only watch on my computer screen all 20 inchs of it.
Dude you never heard of tv out. Its this cools thing that most graphics cards have that allows you to hook your computer up to a tv. Go take a look at the back of your computer there might be a little black circle thats called and svideo out port.

macrosslover said,
why would I want to rent movies from youtube? itunes to appletv, netflix to xbox, etc I can understand because in the end you could watch them on a TV. I would never pay for something I could only watch on my computer screen all 20 inchs of it.

Yeah, I agree. I think at the end of the day the only way to win that market is in some sort of set top box... Although some tv's are now coming with YouTube browsing built in, so maybe it would work then?

daftperception said,
Dude you never heard of tv out. Its this cools thing that most graphics cards have that allows you to hook your computer up to a tv. Go take a look at the back of your computer there might be a little black circle thats called and svideo out port.

that implies I have a tv in the same room as my desktop computer. that you have a proper setup from the computer to send out surround sound as well. and unless theirr resolution is HD it's going to look like junk on your tv.

1. A lot of people watch movies on their computers, especially laptops when they go away.

2. A lot of TVs now have a built in YouTube player

3. A number of people HTPCs

4. Consoles such as PS3 and Wii can compete with a similar service offered by the XBox.

macrosslover said,
that implies I have a tv in the same room as my desktop computer. that you have a proper setup from the computer to send out surround sound as well. and unless theirr resolution is HD it's going to look like junk on your tv.

Why would it not be HD? Isn't the current HD service of youtube 720p?

Tivo can stream YouTube or NetFlix. I strongly believe that a convergence of TV and computers is coming, through not at the strength that MS/Apple/etc had hoped.

(we're finally getting a pair of Tivos next month)