Have a late night craving to watch Pirates of the Caribbean but neither the DVD or hard drive space to do so? YouTube is partnering with Disney to put hundreds of titles on its semi-new rental service, YouTube.com/movies. Though Warner Bros., Sony and Universal were on board with the service when it launched in May, Disney’s addition is the first major once since and means a massive amount of affordable family films just appeared at your fingertips. There’s more after the jump.
Variety broke the news of this deal. It doesn’t say when the agreement goes into effect, just that “hundreds of titles from Disney, DreamWorks and Pixar, including Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Cars 2” will be included. A mention on Google’s YouTube blog says titles will start appearing immediately.
Mentioning those three movies specifically begs the question, will there be any good movies released? (Though, I’ll admit, I do like Cars 2 more than most.)
Jokes aside, the real question will be how deep into their vault with Disney goes for this deal with YouTube. If they make films available that aren’t currently available on Blu-ray or DVD, or even just some of their bigger, major classics – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Bambi, etc. – it could be a huge deal for both companies. If it’s just made for TV stuff, second rate sequels and new releases, it probably won’t be as impactful.
The way YouTube’s rental service works now is similar to iTunes, Amazon and Hulu where each film costs between $1 and $4 to stream for a limited time. YouTube has obviously made their name as more of an amateur video site so they’re trying their best to legitimize themselves alongside those competitors. A deal like this certainly helps.
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