YouTube Video Rentals Service Expanded | More Content Providers Join Google’s Beta

1 min read

youtube-logoYouTube looks to be expanding its video rental service despite only mild success with the experiment with Sundance film festival offerings earlier this year. And it isn’t just films being offered for paid streaming, with anime, travel, craft, and fitness videos added to the mix.

YouTube Video Rentals

YouTube signaled its intent to start charging for some videos last September, with rumors of a movie rental service priced at $3.99-a-film emerging.

The trail then went cold until January of this year when YouTube officially released the first five offerings under the new service. Until then, the service had merely been trialled by Google employees.

Sundance Film Festival Trial

The first offerings were The Cove, Bass Ackwards, One Too Many Mornings, Homewrecker, and Children of Invention, all independent films from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival which would otherwise have struggled to find an audience.

The trial ended when the festival did, and the total revenue brought in by the trial was $10,709.16. This isn’t a huge amount of money, especially for a site as popular as YouTube or a company as big as Google.

But it was a good enough start to justify an expansion of the service, proving that should the right content, and a fair amount of it, be made available that it could prove to be another way of bringing in revenue to YouTube. Which, lest we forget, has yet to turn a profit.

Expanding The Library


now reports that YouTube has expanded the service to include more videos, more content providers, and a greater variation of genres. Rather than just independent filmmakers, genres such as sport, travel, cooking, and education are now also available.

Not that YouTube is publicizing the service yet. In fact, it’s all being rolled out very quietly and with no fanfare. Then again, the video rentals service is still in beta, and will likely be for some time to come.


YouTube obviously has high hopes that there’s a profitable future in offering video rentals, and not just in the form of movies. And I don’t doubt this is the case.

Although most people will still only use YouTube for the free UGC that is at its core, there is a significant proportion of people happy and willing to pay for content, if that content is what they’re seeking.

Related Ad

Purchase TV shows and movies from Amazon Video on Demand