YouTube launches its rental service with 3,000 movie titles to get people to spend some of their allotted TV time on the video-sharing Website.
Google's YouTube video sharing Website entered the
streaming video fray in mass May 9, offering 3,000 movie titles in a bid to
compete with Netflix and Amazon.com in the burgeoning market for on-demand
it will sell
various and sundry popular Hollywood films, as well as a smattering of
independent and foreign fare in the U.S. through its new YouTube
The content, which comes from the likes of partners
Universal, Time Warner's Warner Bros. and Sony includes "Caddyshack,"
"Goodfellas," "Scarface," as well as fresher releases such
as "Inception," "The King's Speech," and the "Little
The movies will be paired with reviews from Rotten
Tomatoes and movie extras such a cast interviews and parodies. People may watch
movies by logging into their YouTube account on any computing device, including
their Google TV units.
YouTube is following Amazon in charging 99 cents to $3.99
for each video, as well as offering some free titles. Netflix, which has
largely scaled back its mail-delivery DVD business, offers its streaming
service in the U.S. for $7.99 per month.
Viewers who choose to stream a movie will have 30 days to
begin watching their rental, with 24 hours to finish watching it once they
start. YouTube is accepting all major credit cards.
a Q&A on the new service.
YouTube is coming at this market from the ground up.
While Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have delivered professional produced content
from their inception, YouTube is currently serving 2 billion mostly user-generated
videos each day across 350 million devices, such as PCs, smartphones, tablets
Despite this explosion in user-generated video, there is
only so much of that amateur content people are willing to watch.
learned, according to YouTube head Salar Kamangar, is that users would watch 15
minutes per day on YouTube, perhaps during a break for studies or work, but
spend 5 hours a day watching TV.
"As the lines between online and offline continue to
blur, we think that's going to change," Kalamangar
said in a blog post
Crucial to this plan is getting people to access YouTube
not just from their computers and handheld gadgets, but from their home entertainment
hubs: their TVs.
That's where Google TV comes in. Google TV
, the Android
and Google Chrome-based Web TV services, includes YouTube Leanback, which is
YouTube's effort to roll a video stream without interruption.
By pairing that service with streaming movies
, YouTube is
better positioned to meet its goal of serving consumers' 5 hours of TV viewing
Of course, Google TV heavily features a Netflix and Amazon.com
streaming applications so it remains to be seen if YouTube, which runs
Google TV is going to start favoring its own streaming service over