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Last fall, we brought you news that YouTube was considering adding a movie rental service. Word came today that the Google-owned online video giant will be offering online rentals of five independent films from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. YouTube has also signed a deal with GoDigital Media Group enabling it to offer ad-supporting streaming films, and is reported to be in talks with Lionsgate and Sony.

The Sundance titles, drawn from the 2009 and 2010 festivals, include The Cove, One Too Many Mornings, Homewrecker, Children of Invention and Bass Ackwards. The films will be offered in standard and high definition downloads (viewable on a computer only) for a 48-hour viewing window for $3.99.

YouTube is also planning on soliciting other independent filmakers to partner on the new streaming service, with alternate pricing options besides YouTube’s standard ad-supported model.

YouTube and GoDigital Media Group announced a new deal yesterday that gives YouTube ad-supported access to 800 movies and television streams from GoDigital’s catalog. Logan Mulvey, co-founder and CMO of GoDigital said the following of the arrangement:

“The move to full-length makes a lot of sense for YouTube, and being that it is such a brand name, made it easy for us to jump on board immediately,”

According to YouTube spokesperson Chris Dale, the company is participating in ongoing discussions with “major studios” to expand the streaming service to include more mainstream Hollywood Movies. Studios that YouTube is rumored to be in talks with include Lionsgate and Sony. Said Dale of the new service’s limited original offering:

“This is something, that from our perspective, brings more choice to our user community. . .Then we’ll open it up and invite a broader group of content partners to join.”

YouTube hopes that its nascent platform will gain more widespread support from studios and traction against rival Hulu as it incorporates near-future upgrades such as 1080p resolution and auto translation/captioning.

What say you, Insiders? Does renting films from YouTube appeal to you? How well is this new service going to work for them? Let us know what you think in the comments.

[via Home Media Magazine]

5 Responses to “YouTube to Offer Sundance Films for Rental”

  1. Member [Join Now]
    Cancun [cancun]

    It’s for customers to have multiple options to watch movies. Still, Redbox $1 a night is a better deal even if you have to wait a little longer to get the movie you want.
    I’m worried YouTube will get greedy, charging for more stuff and inserting more commercials.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    [visit] [visito] [visitor]

    I don’t really have the bandwidth to watch anything in HD. My satellite provider has a lot of free downloads (not streaming) and it took about 2 days to download Lost in Translation in 720p. There is no way I can stream anything more than 1Mbps (120KBps).

    And with kids, how easy will it be to pause a streamed movie, give the kids a bath, and restart it in the exact same place an hour later?

    Renting a DVD is great effective bandwidth. I can walk to my redbox and get a DVD (4.7GB) in 10 mins. That’s 62Mbps or 60x faster than my broadband.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Robert [visitor]

      “And with kids, how easy will it be to pause a streamed movie, give the kids a bath, and restart it in the exact same place an hour later?”

      Uh, very.

      Also, a 720p download is MUCH smaller file size than a 9 GB DVD (most rental DVDs are dual layer, ya know), yet the quality’s the same. Sorry you have slow internet, but most people with broadband will be able to use this service.

      The only problem is that youtube wants to charge $4 a pop. Hell no.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Paulina Balandran [visitor]

    I really like youtube but yeah it does have some bad things on it. Like with copyright and stuff.