With an estimated 130 million users who access YouTube every month, YouTube is no doubt the reigning king when it comes to online video sharing. And if the recent rumors are true it might become an even bigger force to reckon with as the webosphere is ripe with speculations of YouTube Launching a Video-On-Demand movie rental service.
Apple’s iTunes service and Netflix are household names when it comes to content streaming but the thing which sets would set a YouTube streaming service apart is the fact that millions of people already use it on a daily basis. So naturally it is a no brainer for both Hollywood movie studios and YouTube to start a video rental and content streaming service which would provide film lovers the ability to stream new releases at very economical rates as well as generate huge revenue’s for both film studio’s and YouTube. Rumor goes that the service could be started as early as this week. While Apple’s iTunes service and Netflix are established players in the game, this attempt by Google which owns YouTube to enter the VOD business is being considered as a direct challenge to online video streaming giants such as the Apple iTunes service and Netflix.
Ironically YouTube’s immense popularity and its free accessibility is complicating negotiations with Hollywood studios as licensing agreements are usually signed on a country-by-country basis. Major studio’s such as Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Brothers and Universal studios have reportedly licensed their content for YouTube’s streaming service while other significant studio’s such as Paramount and Fox, reportedly, are not game uptill now.
YouTube decided not to come out with a direct statement but eventually did release these comments:
We’ve steadily been adding more and more titles since launching movies for rent on YouTube over a year ago, and now have thousands of titles available, Outside of that, we don’t comment on rumor or speculation.
Likewise, a Hollywood studio executive said:
We think it will start with VOD, but broaden to include sell-through over time, and we are happy to see new entrants come in transactionally rather than a subscription model.
Whatever the case may be, this piece of news is certainly enticing so stay tuned for more.