Googles’s YouTube is about to launch a pay VoD service streaming mainstream movies to compete with iTunes. The service could start as early as next week according to Hollywood insider newsletter The Wrap.
Major studios including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Brothers and Universal have made deals for the new service, as have independent studios, including Lionsgate. YouTube wanted all studios on board before announcing but, so far, Paramount, Fox and Disney are holding out.
YouTube has been experimenting with renting back catalogue movies for over a year but this will be the first time it has gone head to head in the DVD window as it has persuaded studios it is more an opportunity than a threat.
“We are pretty excited because we are happy to see new entrants come in transactionally rather than a subscription model,” a studio executive told The Wrap.