YouTube to offer online movie rentals

September 2, 2009 By RYAN NAKASHIMA , AP Business Writer
YouTube logo

YouTube is considering streaming movies for rental, a move that would see the free video-sharing site charging for content for the first time, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The newspaper, citing "people familiar with the company's plans," said Google-owned YouTube is holding talks with major movie studios including Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Sony Corp. and Warner Bros. about integrating newer titles for rental.

"Negotiations are continuing and there are no guarantees a deal will be struck," the newspaper said.

YouTube, known mainly for its user-contributed amateur videos, already has struck deals with some studios to screen clips and full-length movies but does not currently charge for anything on the site.

YouTube recently announced an agreement with US media and entertainment giant Time Warner to show clips from Time Warner property Warner Bros. with advertising revenue being split between them.

Google bought YouTube in 2006 for 1.65 billion dollars but the Mountain View, California-based Internet search and advertising giant has not yet managed to turn a profit with the site despite its massive global popularity.

The Wall Street Journal said that while details vary from studio to studio, "generally speaking the agreements (under discussion) would allow consumers to stream movies on a rental basis for a fee."

"In some cases, these titles might be available on the site on the same day that they come out on DVD," the newspaper said.

It said new movie rentals were likely to cost around 3.99 dollars, the price Apple charges for new movie rentals through iTunes.

The Journal said Google plans to test the service on 10,000 of its employees for three months. It said the trial was supposed to start at the beginning of September, but was pushed back as the studio negotiations dragged on.

Besides Apple, Amazon.com and Netflix also allow users to rent movies online.

Online video website Hulu.com, a fast-growing rival to YouTube, offers full-length television episodes and movies for free and has reached agreements with three of the four major US broadcast television networks.

A YouTube spokesman told the Journal the company is always working to expand on "its great relationships with movie studios and on the selection and types of videos we offer our community."

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Joost seeks cable TV operator as buyer

Related Stories

Blockbuster to offer movies on Motorola phones

August 18, 2009

(AP) -- Blockbuster Inc. plans to offer movies that can be watched on Motorola Inc. cell phones. It marks the struggling rental company's first step into mobile video and is its latest effort at chasing down the customers ...

YouTube, Universal Music Group form music venture

April 9, 2009

(AP) -- YouTube and Universal Music Group are teaming up on an online music video venture that will launch later this year with Universal's entire catalog of nearly 10,000 music videos.

Sony becomes 2nd label on Vevo music video site

June 4, 2009

(AP) -- Recording company Sony Music Entertainment has joined Vevo, an online music video site due to launch this year with the backing of Universal Music Group and YouTube.

iTunes Store Tops Over Five Billion Songs Sold

June 23, 2008

Apple announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded over five billion songs from the iTunes Store. iTunes is the number one music retailer in the US and features the largest music catalog with over eight million ...

Recommended for you

Tech titans ramp up tools to win over children

December 10, 2017

From smartphone messaging tailored for tikes to computers for classrooms, technology titans are weaving their way into childhoods to form lifelong bonds, raising hackles of advocacy groups.

Mapping out a biorobotic future  

December 8, 2017

You might not think a research area as detailed, technically advanced and futuristic as building robots with living materials would need help getting organized, but that's precisely what Vickie Webster-Wood and a team from ...

Lyft puts driverless cars to work in Boston

December 6, 2017

Lyft on Wednesday began rolling out self-driving cars with users of the smartphone-summoned ride service in Boston in a project with technology partner nuTonomy.

Researchers 3-D print lifelike artificial organ models

December 6, 2017

A team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota has 3D printed lifelike artificial organ models that mimic the exact anatomical structure, mechanical properties, and look and feel of real organs. These patient-specific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.