YouTube Video Rentals a Modest Success

The NY Times reports on YouTube’s Sundance-related video rental experiment:

YouTube said last month that it would dip its toes into the digital movie rental business with five independent films tied to the Sundance Film Festival. The company said the five films, which were available for 10 days, received a combined 2,684 views.

At $3.99 per rental, YouTube netted $10,709.16.

The Times suggests this isn’t really anything to crow about, while the quote from YouTube is that the test “exceeded our expectations.”

I suspect that YouTube will press forward with this model and seek deals with studios and rights owners. YouTube could develop a viable and potentially lucrative on-demand video rental business (online and on TV) if it can gain access to the content.

Netflix, for example, probably had more than $1.7 billion (roughly) in revenue last year. That’s a meaningful chunk of change for YouTube to go after. Think also about how Google TV ads would/could be integrated into such an offering.

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4 Responses to “YouTube Video Rentals a Modest Success”

  1. Ethan Says:

    One thing YouTube will need to watch out for is the tendency for viewers to rate down the content itself because they’re annoyed at being asked to pay for it. (I’ve heard that at least one of the Sundance directors whose work was part of this pilot was freaking out about this, somewhat justifiably IMO.)

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Interesting; I was unaware of that. Yes . . . so changing the culture of YouTube will be one of the issues here.

  3. Kyle Kazak Says:

    They might create a Rotten Tomatoes model where they allow only ‘admin’ or ‘editor’ level critics to actually cast reviews. This is so they will always have a relatively consistent reviewer base.

    NetFlix should be trembling!

  4. pctv4me » Blog Archive » YouTube Video Rentals a Modest Success « Screenwerk Says:

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