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.

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