YouTube has launched the rumored expanded movie rental service which now offers movies from major Hollywood studios, both current blockbusters as well as classics. 3,000 titles are now available from studios such as Universal, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers.
YouTube already had plenty of movies and TV shows for rental or free streaming, but it wasn't the most appealing line up. Now Google finally has something to compete with.
"Today, we’re announcing another step in our goal to bring more of the video you love to YouTube: the addition of thousands of full-length feature films from major Hollywood studios available to rent in the US at youtube.com/movies," YouTube announced.
"In addition to the hundreds of free movies available on the site since 2009, you will be able to find and rent some of your favorite films. From memorable hits and cult classics like Caddyshack, Goodfellas, Scarface, and Taxi Driver to blockbuster new releases like Inception, The King’s Speech, Little Fockers, The Green Hornet and Despicable Me," it added.
Along with movies from the big Hollywood studios, YouTube also secured content from the independent distributor Lionsgate Films as well as independent studios.
Newer releases will rent for $3.99 but most movies will be available for $2.99. Once users have paid for a movie, they have 30 days to start watching it and 24 to finish it once they do.
Most movies are in standard definition, though some can be in HD, it's up to the studios to decide which quality to enable for streaming.
YouTube is now competing with several other players, notably Amazon's Video on Demand service. Of course, it's also competing with Netflix for the same market, but Netflix is available for a fixed monthly subscription rather than on a pay-per-view basis like the new YouTube offering.