Yesterday, YouTube announced the addition of 3,000 movie titles from major motion picture studios to its rental service. That gives the internet’s largest video sharing site a sum total of somewhere around 6,000 films available for users to stream for a fee. That fee ranges anywhere from Free to $3.99 for a 24-hour viewing window.
The new titles come from distribution deals YouTube made with Warner Bros., Universal, and Sony and feature classics – like “Caddyshack, Goodfellas, Scarface, and Taxi Driver” – along with recent selections – like “Inception, The King’s Speech, Little Fockers, The Green Hornet and Despicable Me” – some of which will be made available on the same day as their DVD and Blu-ray release.
The movie title acquisition is part of YouTube’s multi-pronged approach to bring higher quality content and longer viewing sessions to the site.
The recent purchase of Next New Networks and subsequent launch of YouTube’s Creator Institute and Next Up highlight how the company is attempting to foster talent internally in hopes of elevating on-the-rise content creators from the level of popular amateur to well-known professional. The addition of popular studio films rounds out YouTube’s content offerings, helping it create viewing experiences for its 143+ million monthly visitors, regardless of whether or not those visitors want to watch homegrown online videos, indie films, or blockbuster releases.
6,000 titles is certainly a start, but it pales in comparison to Netflix’s 100,00+ offerings by mail and tens of thousands of streaming selections. YouTube still has a ways to go to seriously compete with the company that’s been delivering major motion pictures to the masses since 1998, but it does have one leg up on its competitors. Massive, insane reach.
Those 143 million monthly US visitors eclipses Netflix’s 23 million US and Canadaian subscribers. Netflix stock is up 6 points since Monday, but I’d get bearish on the company very quickly if and when YouTube makes more of these kind of announcements and increases its studio partners and premium offerings.