YouTube has today announced that it is launching its rental movie service in the UK with over 1,000 major Hollywood and British films available to rent. Alongside blockbusters such as The Dark Knight and Reservoir Dogs are new releases such as Hanna, Fast Five and Red Riding Hood, with Film Extras such as interviews and behind-the-scenes footage will also be available in some cases.
New releases will cost £3.49 to rent, whilst older films will be available for £2.49. After renting, users have 30 days to watch the film, and 48 hours to complete once started. One useful feature is that they can be watched on any computer or device through which a user is signed in to their YouTube account. This includes mobile phones such as on the iPhone or Android devices.
There is a clear advantage that Google have here through allowing Internet-enabled TV's access to the service such as the Google TV. With content available directly, it makes it a much nicer user experience rather than having to load up a laptop or other device which is connected to the TV. Google will also move into direct competition with the likes of Apple (and their Apple TV device) as well as PlayStation and XBox devices.
The subscription model, such as that operated by LOVEFiLM, could see some users shift, although until YouTube offers an all-you-can-eat style service, there will always be a market for the likes of LOVEFiLM, particularly with their currently, larger catalogue of films.
More details available at youtube.com/movies