sundaridevi - 2:34 pm on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
YouTube's new VOD won't compete directly with NetFlix or HuluPlus because it offers one-off movie purchases just as I-Tunes and Amazon do. No subscription fees here.
I think Mark Cuban sums it up pretty well in the associated article on his blog comments on YouTube: NetFlix et all are moving very fast and NetFlix and Amazon VOD are already on pretty much every piece of streaming internet hardware you can find.
If you have Roku Box or AppleTV or even a wi-fi/internet enabled TV or Blu-ray player you can see how the competition is lining up. Amazon/NetFlix are already on your "desktop". YouTube is too, but for the moment it's not clear if the VOD service will be active on those devices. It would not be too smart to miss that opportunity, but worse has happened.
Google TV and Boxee Box operate in a slightly different universe (think tv web browsers with proprietary channels) and their $250+ price point ensure that they will have a much smaller installed base than the $100 or less Roku box and AppleTV (think proprietary channels).
Personally, I think YouTube will quickly gain traction as a way to watch recently released movies for people who want to watch one or two movies a month but don't want to pay a monthly netflix, HuluPlus or amazon Prime subscription. In that case they will just compete with Itunes and Amazon VOD. YouTube will have better demographics than Amazon for this service, but a less substantial offering. In the event that YouTube can match its offering, then ITunes will feel the most pressure from this announcement as they are not in the mainstream hardware desktops and they don't yet have any channels to offer developers for AppleTV. So AppleTVs next release will be critical, and it can no longer be seen by Steve Jobs as a hobby if he wants to continue to play in the big leagues.