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Google Pitching Pay-Per-View – And Maybe This Time It’ll Work

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So Google is pitching a YouTube pay-per-view service to Hollywood studios that would enable video rentals for five bucks a pop. That’s not… so bad, I guess. I mean, if you’re not already a Netflix convert. But we’ll go over that in a second.

YouTube’s pay-per-view is, in fact, not new. Yeah, I was surprised, too. Open since January of this year, YouTube’s rental service has offered video rentals from indie and niche publishers from $1.99 – $3.99. That is nothing if not rad, but so far, no one’s really biting. With only 1500 views in its first weekend (featuring Sundance festival titles), and only 6200 after the release of several Oscar-calibur films, YouTube’s rental store isn’t exactly living up to its reputation as otherwise the #1 video content provider on planet earth.

Maybe $5 rentals of Hollywood’s latest blockbusters would finally give the service some action. But would it really? $5 isn’t not a substantial amount of money to watch a YouTube stream. I guess if you’re a HUGE movie buff, it might be a more sensible option than NetFlix, which only offers so much content for your money. But if you’re a HUGE movie buff, you’re probably getting your movies for free from the Pirate Bay anyway.

I know I am.

And this isn’t even considering the fact that, ironically, you can stream most movies from YouTube itself already, if you know where to look. Google, maybe it’s best if you just sit this one out.

  1. The $5.00 price point doesn’t seem that attractive to me. You can get unlimited watch instantly access from Netflix plus one DVD at a time for $8.99. In addition to that I can stop by a number of Redbox rental places and get movies for $1.00. I am probably missing something here, but I am not sure what.

  2. @Kevin Ramsey: Well, you’ll have to admin that paying $5 for instant Youtube-Streaming on whatever machine you’re on, presumably without having to begin some kind of subscription or abonnement is not *that* bad … ? At least it sounds easy to use, and Youtube/Google are names most people feel safe with, like Amazon.

    Youtube videos stream perfectly for me. 720p and 1080p videos are loading fast and playing without interruptions. If that’s the case for full feature film length, I’ll happily pay 5$ to watch “the new Hollywood blockbuster everyone’s buzzing about” anytime I want, possibly at 11pm when I finally find the time to enjoy myself after a day of work during which I did not have the time to go to the cinema.

    Just sounds like a service á la iTunes Store: Of course I could just visit the pirates on their bay and get the latest music charts, but if you’d really like to have a song in good quality, ready to play & go on your iDevice, just fire up iTunes, buy for a couple of $, and you’re done.

    In fact, I spent 5$ for more futile things than streaming a blockbuster on Youtube. Just my opinion.

  3. @NicoSchneider: I’m not sure about where you are, but here there is a Redbox everywhere you look almost. Cheap for a regular movie and only slightly more for Blu-ray. Between that, Netflix (which I have), and Pirate Bay (which I use… but not as much now), I really don’t see them totally cashing out on it.

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