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YouTube’s Rental Store Now At ‘Hundreds’ Of Videos And Counting

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YouTube’s video rental store — which started out with five Sundance Film Festival titles in January — now has “hundreds” of movies, TV shows and documentaries in its catalog, most of which are available to watch for between 99 cents and $3.99. ReadWriteWeb noted the under-the-radar expansion today, and YouTube tells us that so far the store has lined up more than 500 partners to contribute content, although not all of their videos have been uploaded (“Our community can expect more rental content to appear in the store in the weeks and months to come,” a spokesman says).

No major titles are available to rent, with the “popular movies” list heavy with indy and Bollywood films and the “popular shows” list heavy with anime. Also, judging from the relatively small amount of cash Google (NSDQ: GOOG) grossed from those Sundance titles, this is unlikely a big money maker for now — but it’s definitely a start and lays the groundwork for those rental deals with the big studios which Google was said to be negotiating last fall.

3 Responses to “YouTube’s Rental Store Now At ‘Hundreds’ Of Videos And Counting”

  1. This could be very interesting for Netflix and iTunes for that matter. A key for me will be the ability to stream on my large screen HDTV. For now, I just connect my MacBook Pro and can watch Hulu no problem. Since I also have a PS3, I use that to stream Netflix offerings. Will I be able to get a similar experience from YouTube will be the question.

  2. “While appearing before a congressional subcommittee, Chad Hurley, CEO of YouTube, denied that the company was intent on competing with television (p. 170).”

    Quoted in Watching YouTube: Extraordinary Videos by Ordinary People (University of Toronto Press, 2010)

    Dr. Strangelove
    University of Ottawa

  3. Hilarious… Google (YouTube) is assuming that the movies that go through Sundance are something that people on YouTube want to watch? YouTube is a site filled with “non-mainstream” media, developed by truly independent artists, without the bid studio backing that is so typical of Sundance. What made YouTube so big wasn’t Big Blockbuster films from the studios, yet the viral and fresh film work from film makers that had previously zero exposure. We posted our trailer to our Street Racing Documentary (1320 A West Coast Story) on YouTube and it generated over half a million views – FAR MORE than that of most films that were accepted into Sundance. In contrast to the strategy by YouTube to use Sundance films first, the largest rental house Netflix will accept any film and all it cares about is whether or not it is popular. Speaking to individuals within Netflix, I was told they care about nothing more than how popular the title is – not if its in Sundance – and they even went so far to say that many of their Sundance films submitted to them generate little to zero interest… Plus 1 for Netflix for being a true democratic company, and its showing in their profitability!