Youtube eyes movies stream launch in UK

YouTube is planning to launch an unlimited subscription service for movies similar to Netflix and Amazon, and is also considering starting it the UK to cut down on the competition, reports The New York Post.

Google, which has been in talks with Hollywood studios for months, is aiming to launch the service first in Europe, with the UK being first up before expanding to the US, said executives who have been briefed on the plan.

Should all go to plan, it would put YouTube in direct competition with Amazon, which has just acquired UK streaming movie service LoveFilm in January, along with Netflix, which is also considering launching their service in Europe.

Google has put aside $100 million to cut deals with movie studios, to expand beyond their library of homemade videos. Google's entertainment guru, Robert Kync who moved from Netflix to help Youtube in their endeavor had this to say:

"Google is going to be launching channels in Europe and will launch a subscription video-on-demand service," one Hollywood executive told The Post. "They are going to spend $100 million on content."

And that's not all, last week it emerged that Google is offering as much as $5 million to celebrities for original channel content on Youtube, New York Magazine reported. And they can afford to splash the cash with Citigroup estimating YouTube's gross revenue at $1 billion last year.

In December 2010, Google acquired WideVine, a Seattle-based company specializing in digital rights management and secure services for Internet streaming video across several platforms.

WideVine's clients include Netflix, Blockbuster and Vudu among others.

Which seems like a step forward, as Google has been desperate to turn YouTube into an entertainment hub where users can watch movies and TV shows online, and has pursued deals with the major studios for months.

It's believed that it has also struck limited deals to show some movies to users free of charge.

Google has declined to comment.

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27 Comments

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TheBlueRaja said,
5.1 and upto 1080p or im not interested.
Seeing as how they already support 1080p, I can imagine movies would be offered in HD. I don't know about 5.1 though, if not, simply use a matrix decoder.

satukoro said,
Seeing as how they already support 1080p, I can imagine movies would be offered in HD. I don't know about 5.1 though, if not, simply use a matrix decoder.

1080p at a decent bitrate.

The studios must know that this is the way film distribution is inevitably going to go, this is the one way they can cut out some of the piracy that occurs, most people just want simple access to content. Fingers crossed its cheap, fully unlimited and does not contain adverts. Hopefully in the future ISP's like Virgin might strike a deal where youtube film access comes with your broadband package.

This is good news, hopefully this will kick start some decent competition in UK/Europe as at the moment what little there is is severely overpriced compared to Netflix etc. in the US.

Bring it on, I just hope the pricing is good and is for unlimited movies, not some silly per film price ... I have been waiting for an "all you can eat" streaming service for so long ...

bushbrother said,
This is good news, hopefully this will kick start some decent competition in UK/Europe as at the moment what little there is is severely overpriced compared to Netflix etc. in the US.

Bring it on, I just hope the pricing is good and is for unlimited movies, not some silly per film price ... I have been waiting for an "all you can eat" streaming service for so long ...

whole world needs it not just Europe or UK

I really like this idea and more competition is always good for the consumer, but doesn't the below quote seem like something fishy is going on. Like they can just snipe others DRM or cut them off?

In December 2010, Google acquired WideVine, a Seattle-based company specializing in digital rights management and secure services for Internet streaming video across several platforms. WideVine's clients include Netflix, Blockbuster and Vudu among others.

the better twin said,
Youtube is slow as hell already, wouldnt want to pay to stream a movie through it.

What ISP you with? I'm with Bethere and Youtube works perfectly fine with 720p and 1080p videos..?

Tony. said,

What ISP you with? I'm with Bethere and Youtube works perfectly fine with 720p and 1080p videos..?


Same here and I'm in Canada with DSL from TekSavvy 5Mb

I'm rarely waiting for a video to buffer before I watch it even at 720p! And I'm all the way down under in Australia

the better twin said,
Youtube is slow as hell already, wouldnt want to pay to stream a movie through it.
I'm stuck with 1.5Mb dsl and it streams fine at 480p and 720p. Must be on your end.

the better twin said,
Youtube is slow as hell already, wouldnt want to pay to stream a movie through it.

I've 50mb Virgin in the UK.....whats buffering? hahah fanarr fanarr

Salty Wagyu said,
Cool, just need a majority of ISPs in the UK to remove their data caps, which could be like never.

The interesting thing here is that Virgin's Tivo box has access to youtube and its internal modem is NOT restricted by their traffic management or download caps and considering you'd want to watch films on your TV and not your PC (I'm sure google is planning on pairing this with GoogleTV, of course), it would be the perfect way to do it. As long as Virgin doesn't try to block it since they have their own on demand system.

Neobond said,
Why? There are already many streaming services available in the US that aren't in Europe yet?

Same applies for the US pretty much but their content services won't acknowledge anywhere but north america exists. As for rest of us, nothing so far besides minimal services offered by state television services as such or itunes which can fall off the face of the earth for all I care.

Companies need to gtfo with the geographical restricted rubbish before they try bring anything new to the market because lets face it if they want to produce content nobody can see then the service may aswell not even exist in the first place, and serving it to a minority helps with nothing.

Digitalx said,

At least you even get spotify if nothing else

And Last.fm, which isn't in the US right? Although the US does get Pandora.