YouTube Movie Rental Deal Might Be Near
(New York Times) — A two-year effort by YouTube, owned by Google, to get major Hollywood studios to offer their new-release movies for rental is coming closer to reality. Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Brothers have agreed to rent movies via YouTube, according to two studio executives who spoke on condition of anonymity because they said YouTube wanted to make the announcement. Rental fees are expected to be comparable to those charged by rivals like iTunes. YouTube, however, has only half of the industry’s top players on board. Still on the sidelines are Walt Disney Studios, which is closely aligned with Apple, and 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. Paramount’s corporate owner, Viacom, is still battling YouTube in court over copyright infringement. These three studios together control about 60 percent of the North American movie market.