YouTube is expected to launch a movie-on-demand service within the next two weeks. The service will charge users to stream full-length films off the site and is aimed at Apple’s iTunes service and Netflix, currently the two leaders in paid video streaming.
The service may start as early as this week or next, and is expected to be announced soon by YouTube, reported The Wrap.
“We’ve steadily been adding more and more titles since launching movies for rent on YouTube over a year ago, and now have thousands of titles available,” said a YouTube spokesperson. “Outside of that, we don’t comment on rumor or speculation.”
Major studios including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Brothers and Universal have licensed their movies for the new service, as have numerous independent studios, including Lionsgate and the library-rich Kino Lorber, according to the story. So far Paramount, Fox and Disney have declined to join, said the story.
RBR-TVBR observation: Remember, iTunes is a transaction-based model, rather than a subscription model, like Netflix. So in general, the studios will make more money per movie stream with iTunes and YouTube. The sheer number of visitors YouTube has makes it almost a slam-dunk for garnering new customers in the space, quickly. If the new service is officially launched, it will likely get its own name and branding to change perceptions that “Yes, YouTube has movies, but not many new ones.”