Wednesday, September 02, 2009

New Hollywood Feature Films for Rent on YouTube?

According to a report on Wall Street Journal, YouTube is talking to Hollywood movie studios about streaming the latter's newly released movies on a rental basis, and the rental fee per title being mentioned is $3.99.

This is a fairly new territory for YouTube to get into, as it has so far been offering videos, in both short and long forms, on a free and ad-supported basis.

Some points from the Wall Street Journal's article:

1) The rental movies will be very new, possibly on the same day DVDs are being released.

2) Movie studios are likely to keep about $3 for every $3.99 YouTube charges the renter.

3) Currently this program will be tested in-house by 10,000 Google's employees.

My take:

1) This seems like a deal (if agreed upon by YouTube and the Hollywood studios) that should make Netflix, Amazon, and Apple (all rent streamed movies) nervous.

2) Just the fact that they are negotiating this deal indicates a significant change in Hollywood's attitude toward YouTube -- in the past, Hollywood might think YouTube was taking away the coins in its plate, so to speak, but now, Hollywood thinks YouTube is the place to get more coins.

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