Google Planning Pay-Per-View Movies For YouTube

Illustration for article titled Google Planning Pay-Per-View Movies For YouTube

The Financial Times is reporting that Google is in talks with Hollywood studios to launch a global pay-per-view video service by the end of 2010. If it happens, YouTube will transform into a major player in streaming rental movies.

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People familiar with the talks are saying that Google is pitching to the movie studios that "the international appeal of a streaming on-demand movie service" tied to the world's most popular search engine and YouTube, will attract a "huge number" of people. Basically, Google believes that YouTube and Hollywood would be pretty damn successful together. Prices per rental aren't set yet but it's expected to be around $5-a-pop.

Negotiations between Google and the studios have been going on for some months now but have ramped up in recent weeks (maybe due to one Sept 1st event). If the reports are true, combined with the future Google TV, this deal could turn Google into a real player in digital media distribution. And a direct competitor to Apple in another market. [Financial Times]

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DISCUSSION

KTope
t('-'t)....The Unpronounceable (KTope)

I think they're entering this market a day late and an innovation short. Nobody wants to pay $5 to watch one movie on their computer, and Google is smart enough to know this. The ultimate goal has to be getting them to your living room with Google TV.

The only problem is, Netflix has already gotten there! They have the software, hardware, a fair selection, and an assload of very satisfied subscribers. By the time Google gets this thing off the ground, Netflix's relentless self-improvement will make Google's service even more laughable.

Now why, then, do I have this feeling that Google's astounding competence will give Netflix a run for their money? What could they possibly do to break into Netflix's deserved stranglehold on this market?

1) Beat Netflix to Blu-Ray quality audio & video. Sure, that would help. Entirely possible too, considering the incredible leaps YouTube has made recently in that department.

2) Systematically murder Netflix customers and issue press releases explaining why. Ehh...maybe not.

3) Offer a subscription package. Bingo. $5/movie or $X/month. Obtain a great selection of movies and TV shows, combine with possibility 1, and you've got yourself one terrible headache for Netflix's executives.