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YouTube will imminently launch a movie-on-demand service charging users to stream mainstream Hollywood movies off the world’s largest video sharing site, TheWrap has learned.
The new service means a full-bore challenge to Apple’s iTunes service – currently the most powerful player in paid video streaming -- and a welcome new revenue stream for Hollywood as home entertainment revenues continue their steep decline.
The service may start as early as this week or next, and is expected to be announced soon by YouTube.
Major studios including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Brothers and Universal have licensed their movies for the new service, as have numerous independent studios, including Lionsgate and the library-rich Kino Lorber, according to movie executives with knowledge of the deals in place.
YouTube has been laboring to bring all the major Hollywood studios on board before announcing it, according to one executive involved in the deal. But so far Paramount, Fox and Disney have declined to join.
(Update 7:37 p.m. PST) YouTube, which had earlier declined to comment for the story, issued a statement after this story was published, pointing out that it has rented movies for a year, while declining to comment on the broader initiative it is about to launch with the major studios on board.
[edited by: Leosghost at 1:38 pm (utc) on Apr 26, 2011]
So far, Netflix is the only major player in the online-only video subscription business, but others are playing catch-up. Some cable and satellite operators are bragging about their own video streaming options: last week, for instance, when the Dish Network introduced HBO’s streaming service, HBO Go, it promoted movies that were “not offered by Netflix’s online service.” HBO Go requires an existing subscription to HBO through a cable or satellite operator, so Netflix does not consider it a direct competitor.
[nytimes.com...] yeah. Good luck to Netflix. They are going to need it. It's going to be a battle. But, they know it...Netflix wrote to shareholders on Monday, “Our competitive strategy relative to other streaming services is simply to grow as fast as we can, so we can afford more content, more marketing, and more R&D than our competitors.”
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.Good analysis. They are different markets. I'm taking the longer view, however, where they will both be going after the audience of the other. They are all competing for not just comsumers' eyeballs, but consumers' time.
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.Yup. Apple has been on the bleeding edge regarding TV. First, too much too soon, now too little too late. But, that's the game now.
a welcome new revenue stream for Hollywood as home entertainment revenues continue their steep decline.
Where is the new revenue going to come from?
Today online video revenue for free streaming sites comes from in-video ads (like Hulu) or from on page ads (like AdSense or other traditional banner type ads), but that revenue is pretty small compared to what you get for VOD or paid downloads.I don't think I've seen the economics and marketing laid out as clearly and simply as by sundaridevi here. What's interesting is to make streaming pay, it's going to have to scale. $1 downloads are only attractive if you have a LOT of downloads. What is a lot? For me, a million. For the kid next door, a hundred. For General Electric or Apple, I look like the kid next door. Yet, as they get bigger, the streamer undercut their own market as they are driving prices down to make more sales. Everyone here with a retail site knows this. The world has seen this with iTunes. And Walmart.
There are issue here for the arts and culture. Does our society require the potential of super-dupe huge fame and fortune to create the Beatles? Nothing in the past would indicate that to be necessary. Indeed, perhaps the late 20th Century was unusual in its huge cultural brands. I'm talking about Tide soap and the Rolling Stones, both. Maybe those of us building the web, especially the independent web, have been a part of all of that unwinding, slowly...
We'll still have the people talented as the Stones, but more than ever we are going to have to use our own judgment to find them.
People under 30 already laugh at me for buying blu-ray discs, DVDs or CDs...say I'm old fashioned and stuff!
because you like to own a physical copy of something that you can play back at anytime anywhere?
[edited by: goodroi at 1:33 am (utc) on Jul 1, 2011]
[edit reason] Please no urls [/edit]