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When YouTube offered a small selection of Sundance films for rental on its site this past January, the experiment failed as few YouTube visitors seemed interested in paying for the films. Last week, the site expanded its streaming rental selection to include more mainstream films such as Precious, 3:10 to Yuma, Reservoir Dogs and several films from the Saw franchise. Once again, consumers seem to be giving YouTube’s rental service a collective “meh”.

According to numbers obtained by NewTeeVee, only about 6200 titles have been rented in the last week since the service expanded. Precious, the most popular title, was only streamed 1421 times. 3:10 to Yuma was viewed a meager 53 times, and Reservoir Dogs came in at only 101 views.

Why do you think YouTube’s service is not able to pull down big streaming numbers, Insiders?
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Does this bode ill for other major online video sites such as Hulu that are contemplating implementing paid content of their own?
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(via NewTeeVee)

4 Responses to “YouTube’s Video Rentals Post Dismal Numbers”

  1. Member [Join Now]
    ChadCronin [chadcronin]

    You Tube isn’t exactly well know for high quality, also people are fairly cautious about putting their credit card numbers on untrusted sites. You never know when more charges than you anticipate show up. Also, the only way I even had any idea they were doing this was reading news sites like this and I doubt most people know or care. While I like the idea of streaming and find some HD quality video downloads from Amazon to be decent enough looking, most content still isn’t worth the price especially since it’s usally in SD and $3.99 or higher. I would maybe pay $2 for a Blu-ray in Redbox, but certainly not twice that for an SD stream, they are crazy. There are too many options and not enough comfort level with the newer technologies for people to be seeking out new stuff.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    FalconFour [visitor]

    I can pay $1 and get a nice DVD I can watch on the big screen with a dedicated interface and “me time”.

    Or I can get it as a value-added service from Netflix to watch on my dinky little computer screen any time I want.

    Or, for (I’m assuming) $3.99, I can watch it on my dinky little computer screen for one day.

    Find the outlier!

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    carterjay [visitor]

    The YouTube store service isn’t available (to my knowledge) on any settop streaming television device other than your HTPC computer. That coupled with almost no promotion and their abysmal selection of older film titles, it isn’t surprising that the service is meandering. When I rent a movie, I prefer to watch it on my 42 inch panel tv and surround sound receiver, not on a 15 inch laptop display. YouTube needs to push for upgrades on the DVD and other settop devices that support access to their standard service to support the store.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    John Big [visitor]

    It’s Google – they know what they are doing. Why assume that they are trying to start a profitable business doing this? They could simply be doing some market research for themselves (or someone else, for a fee) that could be looking at completely unrelated metrics. They have the technology in place and it would cost them very little to do this, so it could be anything (even beta testing some new billing technology).