YouTube chief Salar Kamangar has just written a post on the YouTube blog titled “Welcome to the future of video. Please stay a while” , in which he hints at some major announcements that will be coming later today. The gist of the post: users are now racking up 2 billion views on YouTube per day, but they’re spending just 15 minutes a day on YouTube — compared to five hours a day watching TV (seriously, you folks watch a lot of TV).
YouTube’s been on a mission to grab more of that TV-watching time for itself, with initiatives like YouTube Next, which helps train some of the site’s elite users on how to create compelling content. But historically you’ve always had to look elsewhere — like iTunes and Netflix —for big-name movies and premium content. Now it looks like that’s finally starting to change: YouTube is adding around 3,000 new movie titles to its rental section, including ‘blockbuster films’. From Kamangar’s post:
Today, we’re going to start adding around 3,000 new movie titles for rent available to users in the U.S. (more on this in a post later today) that will be accompanied by reviews and behind-the-scenes movie extras. Whether it’s short movie trailers, funny movie parodies or full-length blockbuster films, we encourage you to sit back and settle in to the YouTube movies experience.
YouTube hasn’t yet announced which movies are being added, but this seems to confirm reports that the company has signed deals with multiple major Hollywood studios. There will be more details on this later today.
YouTube has actually offered movie rentals for over a year now, but the selection hasn’t had broad appeal ,consisting largely of indie flicks and older movies (though there are some gems).