Late last year, reports surfaced of a suspected YouTube movie rental service. Fast forward to 2010 and indeed YouTube has started streaming a selection of movies. YouTube has been in talks with major Hollywood movie studios to launch a pay per view service. With the upcoming Google TV, and to rival with Apple in the digital film market, it only makes sense to start this project.
According to the Financial Times, Google has been telling studios the appeal of being able to use the YouTube name, along side the world's most popular search engine, and an international movie streaming service, like Netflix.
Google has realized that for Google TV to take off they will need to be able to also provide users with as much content as they can. On the computer side, YouTube has to compete with Netflix, who already stream many movies and TV shows, although not the most recent episodes. Amazon.com and iTunes both allow you to view video on-demand, and Amazon.com's product allows for instant streaming as well. Hulu also offers the ability for streaming recent TV episodes and a selection of movies. Google clearly has their competition cut out for them.
The YouTube rental service will enable you to stream a rented film for $5 or less, depending on the age and popularity of the movie. Negotiations have been underway for a few months, but with the Apple event scheduled for September 1st they are pushing ever harder. This deal would make Google a major digital distributor, competing with Amazon.com, Netflix, and Apple.