YouTube To Rick Roll iTunes, Netflix, and Movie Industry
YouTube announced today they're joining the streaming rental fracas, a field dominated by iTunes and Netflix. Hopefully this wont include mandatory Rick Rolls during opening credits.
YouTube, starting this month, will provide streaming movie rentals. The initial number of movies for rent is near 3,000, including classics like Caddyshack, Goodfellas, Taxi Driver and Scarface. YouTube's venture into the streaming movie service isn't a surprise, but the amount of time it took to get here is. No other streaming video service has quite the viewership YouTube does, but that same viewership is accustomed to paying zilch for what they view. Getting those same freeloaders to pay for what they see is a definite road block.
While YouTube may struggle to convince its viewership to use their video-on-demand streaming services, they do have a couple advantages over NetFlix and iTunes. What they lack in available movies YouTube movie pages will make up to viewers with behind the scenes footage and special features usually only available on store bought DVDs. Netflix and iTunes rarely provide the streaming of special features, and Netflix's DVDs are notorious for not including special features. In fact when renting some movies via DVD from Netflix the special features discs are shipped separately and count as an additional rental.
YouTubes poised to provide a unique streaming experience, and they will need to fulfill that promise if they want to cut the gap between them and the established market leaders. A staggering statistic that bodes well for YouTube, the site logs 2 billion video views a day. Getting a fraction of those viewers to pay for a rental could prove wildly profitable.