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YouTube comes clean: Content rental is king

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The Chocolate Factory's worst-kept secret is out: YouTube today confirmed that it is launching an online movie rental service with a 3,000-strong catalogue streaming to PCs and mobile devices.

As foreshadowed by El Reg in April, the YouTubers have haunted Hollywood, inking deals with studio heavyweights in a move designed to upstage Apple and Netflix.

Head of YouTube Salar Kamangar confirmed in a blog post on Monday 9 May that from "today, we're going to start adding around 3,000 new movie titles for rent available to users in the US that will be accompanied by reviews and behind-the-scenes movie extras."

Titles already available include classics such as Bad Taste, Scarface and Taxi Driver, and new releases including Inception and The King's Speech. New release prices range from $2.99 to $3.99. Older titles will be free, but ad-supported. All content can be watched with YouTube accounts on any computer, and viewers will have 30 days to begin watching their movie after booking it.

YouTube plans to expand the library over coming months here.

"As the lines between online and offline continue to blur, we think that's going to change. While six years ago you had to move device, room and platform to get all the video that matters most to you, today you can find it all on YouTube," Kamanger said.

He also confirmed that YouTube will accelerate its production role via the YouTube Next venture. YouTube Next was launched in March and has a remit and multi-million dollar budget to "supercharge" content partners' development.

This includes grants, funding dollars for partner education and training. ®

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