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YouTube Expands Film Rental Service

David Gilbert


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YouTube has announced that it will expand its movie rental offerings adding up to 3,000 new titles but will only be available in the United States initially.

A couple of years ago YouTube began offering hundreds of movies for free on the site but these were not exactly blockbuster titles. Last year it announced the ability to rent movies showing at the Sundance Film Festival and is now planning on rolling out a more comprehensive service. US users will be able to rent titles from a range of film studios from today for between $2.99 and $3.99 and you will be able to watch them on your PC or Google TV but not tablets or smartphones it seems. Initial titles on offer include top-tier names such as Harry Potter, The Kings Speech and The Green Hornet. Only a small number of the titles are available in HD and users won’t be able to know whether or not the title they choose is in SD or HD until after they rent the movie.

As well as getting to see the movie itself, renters will get access to an array of behind-the-scenes content, cast interviews, parodies, clips and remixes from YouTube’s community. Movie pages also showcase reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, so you’ll see feedback from critics before you decide what movie to rent. It’s probable that the content will be available on tablets and smartphones in due course considering what YouTube head Salar Kamangar said in his blog post yesterday: “You’re finding more and more of the content you love on YouTube, which is now available on 350 million devices. We know this because you’re watching videos to the tune of 2 billion views a day. But you’re spending just 15 minutes a day on YouTube, and spending five hours a day watching TV. As the lines between online and offline continue to blur, we think that’s going to change.”

Renting mainstream movies on YouTube was always going to happen once deals had been put in place with the studios and now if it would roll out the service to the rest of the world and make more HD content (or 4K dare we say it) available and we’ll all be happy.

Source: YouTube Blog

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