Back in January, as you may remember, YouTube began offering $3.99 rentals for a 48-hour period. The selection was limited to a few Sundance Film Festival titles from 2009 and 2010. The relative failure of that experiment notwithstanding, YouTube this week expanded its streaming rentals to include some titles from major studios, including Precious, Reservoir Dogs, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and several films from the Saw franchise.
Once they are rented, the films are available for the same 48-hour window as the Sundance titles were in January, and run from $1.99 to $3.99. A YouTube spokesperson said that the company “remains in discussions with small and large studios alike to bring their content onto the YouTube platform”.
Ralph Schackart, a media analyst with William Blair & Co., said the following about YouTube’s expansion into more mainstream film territory:
“Even converting a tiny percentage of [YouTube’s massive user base] to paid rental content would materially accelerate the adoption rate of digital content transition . . . Longer term, this may be an interesting revenue opportunity for YouTube if the studios allow it to scale titles.”
Did any of you rent a Sundance title a few months back, Insiders? Does YouTube’s expansion of its rental service with (mostly) Lionsgate titles make you more interested in streaming movies from the site?
(via Home Media Magazine)