YouTube Forays Into Online Movie Rentals

February 3rd, 2010 at 12:00 am

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Google really has big plans for YouTube. As today’s most popular online video site, it can take advantage of its wide global reach of daily users and visitors in the tens of millions. It may be easy to find ways to monetize this advantage aside from the money that come from ads on its pages. Not quite. At least, YouTube is trying to get there.

An effort to maybe take advantage of its reach or just to simply open up a niche opportunity can both be valid reasons why YouTube is venturing out into online movie rentals. YouTube has started on this business model by renting out digital movies on the site. As announced on the YouTube blog, the site went on to make five independent films associated with the Sundance Film Festival available for rent. Using their Google Checkout accounts, YouTube users in the US were given the opportunity to watch the five independent films for US$3.99 per rental. The films were made available for 10 days, from January 22 to January 31.

After the 10 day period, the said project cum experiment got around 2,684 and YouTube was able to collect around $10,000. It may be considered by many as a hard sell considering that other online sites with similar businesses such as Netflix and Apple iTunes may earn quite more than that. It is a number that would not pose as a threat to those sites with their own established business models. Not yet, that is.

Concerning the recent results of their movie rental experiment, YouTube has mentioned that it is quite satisfied with the outcome so far. YouTube may plan to woo in major film companies in the future with a similar arrangement. Consider it as an early foray for now. But the future may just look quite interesting in the movie industry now that YouTube has entered into the fray, not that it hasn’t already in one way or another.



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