Google confirmed the existence of its YouTube Movies service earlier today and has just released more details on which studios and movies will provide the 3,000 titles in its repertoire. YouTube has partnered up with Universal, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros and others to offer full length feature films on YouTube.com/movies. Fox, which we mistakenly reported had joined the brood earlier, is noticeably absent.
From the YouTube blog:
“Today, we’re announcing another step in our goal to bring more of the video you love to YouTube: the addition of thousands of full-length feature films from major Hollywood studios available to rent in the US at youtube.com/movies. In addition to the hundreds of free movies available on the site since 2009, you will be able to find and rent some of your favorite films.
From memorable hits and cult classics like Caddyshack, Goodfellas, Scarface, and Taxi Driver to blockbuster new releases like Inception, The King’s Speech, Little Fockers, The Green Hornet and Despicable Me. Movies are available to rent at industry standard pricing, and can be watched with your YouTube account on any computer. The new titles will begin appearing later today and over the coming weeks to www.youtube.com/movies, so keep checking back.”
Google also sent us a helpful YouTube Movies FAQ, which I’m including below.
Q. What are some of the new studios you’re partnering with?
A. Universal, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers.
Q. How many films have you added and how many total movies are now available on YouTube?
A. We have added a total of approximately 3,000 new titles including catalog and new releases from Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Universal, Lionsgate Films and many great independent studios. This brings the total number of movie titles available to rent on YouTube to over 6,000.
Q. Where and when will the additional movie titles begin appearing on YouTube?
A. Movies for rent will be available at www.youtube.com/movies and new titles will begin appearing to users today and be added throughout the week.
Q. Where are the new movies located and when will they be available on the site?
A. The new movies are located at www.youtube.com/movies and will start appearing at that destination throughout the day.
Q. How many total studios are now represented at YouTube.com/movies and what are they?
A. Studio partners include Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate Films, Starz, The Weinstein Company, and Magnolia Pictures, among others.
Q. How much will the movies for rent cost?
A. Movies are set at industry standard pricing (i.e. most new releases start at $3.99 and library start at $2.99).
Q. How long will a consumer have a movie once he or she has purchased it?
A. For most movies, viewers will have 30 days to begin watching their rental. Once they start watching the movie they will typically have 24 hours to finish.
Q. What transaction service are you using?
A. The service accepts all major credit cards.
Q. Will movies for rent be available at the same time as DVD releases?
A. It’s always up to the content owner, however, many movies will be available at the same time as DVD releases.
Q. Is this a subscription service?
A. No, this is a transaction offering.
Q. Are the movies downloaded, or streamed?
Q. Is this global?
A. No. This service is available to US YouTube users only.
Q. Do you need a YouTube account to purchase a movie for rent?
Q. Will YouTube movies for rent be available on Google TV?
A. Yes, these will be available via the browser (www.youtube.com) on Google TV.
Q. Can rented movies be shared or embedded into other sites including blogs, Facebook and Twitter?
A. Users can embed movies on other sites. If a user who has not rented the movie views the embedded video, the embedded player will show the movie’s trailer along with an overlay that users can click on to rent the full movie.
Q. Is the content in HD?
A. YouTube supports video in up to 4k resolution, however, it is up to our partners to specify what video quality they provide. Most movies for rent will be available in standard definition.
Q. What is unique about the YouTube Movie experience?
A. Movies on YouTube are about providing a complete movie experience. With YouTube Movie Extras movie fans can get more into their favorite films through cast interviews, clips, alternate movie endings and other highly produced content from talented YouTube partners. YouTube reaches one of the largest and most engaged online audiences in the world, with hundreds of millions of views a day in the US alone.