YouTube is to dip its toe into the film rentals pool with a tentative launch that will see five independent films available for just nine days.
Despite the launch, the Google owned video-sharing site hardly seems to have its full weight behind the service at present, only offering its meagre initial rental catalogue to a US audience.
– YouTube trials 3D video clips
– YouTube to provide own sports content
The rental service, which is being wheeled out on January 22nd to coincide with the Sundance Film Festival, will see five titles from the 2009 and 2010 Sundance line-up cost users $3.99 (£2.50) for a 48 hour rental.
However, bigger things could be to come from YouTube, who, speaking through its blog, said: “In the coming weeks we’ll also invite a small group of partners across other industries, in addition to independent film, to participate in this new option.”
The five films available to watch for a fee – between 22 January and 31 January – are The Cove, One Too Many Mornings, Homewrecker, Children Of Invention and Bass Ackwards.To pay for the service, users are required to set up a Google Checkout account.
Although YouTube are entering the online rental market in such a low-key, almost hesitant manner, with the backing of its billionaire parent company, this could well be an insight into the future of the site that has been looking for ways of increasing its profitability.
Link: YouTube (via techradar)