Putting it in direct competition with iTunes in the online movie rental business, YouTube has inked a serious new deal with the major Hollywood studios to hugely expand its pre-existing streaming rental service.
The deal is the biggest of its kind since Apple first started doing online movie rentals in 2008, and sees the site partnering with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros, Universal, and Lionsgate, though Paramount, Fox, and Disney have thus far opted out. The new service will offer individual rentals instead of a subscription model, and one studio executive said, “We think it will start with VOD, but broaden to include sell-through over time. We are pretty excited because we are happy to see new entrants come in transactionally rather than a subscription model.”
So on the plus side, YouTube is expanding its horizons to bring us something besides music videos, clips of people falling down, and auto-tuned everything. But this also means that you might never actually leave the house again. So, toss up?