Google to launch world wide pay-for-view movie service on YouTube site

Posted on August 30, 2010

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(Fierce Mobile) Google is reportedly in talks with Hollywood’s premier movie studios to launch a worldwide pay-per-view streaming movie service in conjunction with its popular YouTube video site. Citing multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations, The Financial Times reports Google is proposing an on-demand service directly integrated with its popular search engine–film and television-related queries in Google Search and YouTube would direct viewers to the streaming service, which is expected to offer new releases for about $5.00. The report adds the Google service will add new titles coinciding with their release on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as their introduction on Apple’s  iTunes and Amazon.com. The streaming effort is likely to debut in the U.S., expanding to other international markets over time.

Google acquired YouTube in late 2006 for $1.65 billion. In April 2010, the site began offering 48-hour film rentals priced between 99 cents and $3.99, with an emphasis on independent features, Bollywood musicals, anime and documentaries.

Last month, Google upgraded its YouTube mobile site, promising a faster, more user-friendly experience superior to native applications running on smartphones like Apple’s iPhone. Initially launching in English only, with additional languages slated to roll out in the months ahead, the new YouTube site is optimized for iPhone and Android smartphone browsers–in addition to enhanced speeds, the revamp incorporates larger, more touch-friendly elements to improve video access as well as desktop features and functionality like search query suggestions, playlist creation and tools to designate “favorite,” “like” and “unlike” tags. “As we make improvements to Youtube.com, you’ll see them quickly follow on our mobile site, unlike native apps which are not updated as frequently,” wrote product manager Andrey Doronichev on the YouTube Blog.

According to Doronichev, YouTube consumption on mobile devices increased 160 percent in 2009 over the previous year, with mobile video playbacks now topping 100 million per day. “This is roughly the number of daily playbacks that YouTube.com was streaming when we joined forces with Google in 2006,” Doronichev added.

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