YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG) has signed up Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures, Warner Bros. (NYSE: TWX), and NBC Universal (NSDQ: CMCSA) to make some of their releases available to rent on the site as part of the major expansion of its movie rental service it announced today. All three studios will make new releases available to rent on YouTube starting at $3.99, while older films will start at $2.99.
With the addition of films from Sony, Warner Bros., and NBC Universal, YouTube Movies will now feature 6,000 films, up from the current 3,000, YouTube says. The company will continue to show films from current partners Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), Starz, the Weinstein Co., and Magnolia Pictures, among others.
All three studios had previously been mentioned as having reached deals with YouTube to put their films on the site. Two other studios, Fox and Paramount, had been in talks with Google about making their films available for rent on the site, although those discussions reportedly fell apart because the studios were concerned that YouTube was not doing enough to control piracy.
As with the existing films on YouTube Movies, users who want to rent the film will be able to begin streaming it within 30 days of paying up; they will then have a 24 hour window to watch it. YouTube says that all 3,000 new films will be going up this week.