According to entertainment website The Wrap, Google’s YouTube has finally locked up all the studio deals to get itself fully into the online movie rental game. The report indicates it could launch as soon as this week with movies from majors including Sony, Warner and Universal, as well as smaller entities like Lionsgate, Kino Lorber and other independents.
This doesn’t appear to be a challenge to (now bigger than Comcast, but still smaller than HBO) Netflix, with the unnamed studio exec quoted in the article saying how happy they are to see a new entrant renting (and eventually selling) movies that’s not using asubscription model. Apple currently leads the online VOD market after jumping in with iTunes back in 2008, so obviously that’s a main target but without any information on pricing, picture quality and exactly what content will be available it’s hard to see how much of a challenger this could be. Rumors of movie rental plans have swirled around YouTube for quite some time and it started rolling out $3.99rentals of indie movies a little over a year ago, here’s hoping they go the whole way and offer nothing less than 3D and 4K streaming to start.