YouTube is doubling the amount of movies for rent, adding 3,000 new titles from major studios NBC Universal, Sony, and Warner.
The announcement could help Google compete against Amazon’s instant video service, and give the company more video content for Google TV, which is on the verge of a refresh. It could also give Google an answer to iTunes for mobile devices — particularly tablets — based on Android.
YouTube has tried this before: it first introduced movie rentals in January 2010, but those were mostly independent movies with few high-profile titles.
The new crop of movie rentals, which have been rumoured since last month, begin rolling out today, according to a blog post by YouTube leader Salar Kamangar. A follow-up post noted some of the titles that will be available for rent, including relatively new releases like “The King’s Speech” and “Despicable Me,” as well as classics like “Caddyshack,” “Goodfellas,” and “Taxi Driver.”
Rentals will cost around $3 except for new releases, which will run a buck more. Users will usually have 30 days to begin watching, then 24 hours to finish once they’ve downloaded. Some movies will be available at the same time as they show up on DVD, but Google says that’s up to the content owners.