YouTube to Offer Rentals

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YouTube is stepping out into the online movie rental business, with its latest move to offer video independent movies through its web-based services.

According to a posting to the YouTube blog, the service is pleased to be able to offer something that’ll make a little money for independent filmmakers, who have long been its bread and butter. Indeed, the folks at YouTube seem to acknowledge the extent to which the two have been reliant on one another, with indie filmmakers pulling in users for YouTube and YouTube directing traffic at those filmmakers. It’s an interesting ecosystem.

Still, according to the blog posting,

“While YouTube has offered an easy and economical way for filmmakers – as well as content creators of all kinds – to instantaneously connect with fans around the world, many of them have told us that the ad-supported business model doesn’t always meet their distribution and monetisation needs.”

It’s with that in mind that YouTube has announced its partnership with the Sundance Film Festival, which will see five films show at this year’s and last year’s festivals made available for rent.

It’s an interesting new model, and one that we’ll be curious to see the success of. If YouTube manages to push digital rental out in a big way, then it’ll be well placed to capitalise on its success with independent movies with some more commercial content. For now though, you can check out the post over at the YouTube blog if you’d like to read about it in any more detail or actually rent a movie (for which you’ll need a Google Checkout account).

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