YouTube said to take on Apple with new VOD feature film service

“YouTube will imminently launch a movie-on-demand service charging users to stream mainstream Hollywood movies off the world’s largest video sharing site,” Sharon Waxman reports for The Wrap. “The new service means a full-bore challenge to Apple’s iTunes service – currently the most powerful player in paid video streaming — and a welcome new revenue stream for Hollywood as home entertainment revenues continue their steep decline. The service may start as early as this week or next, and is expected to be announced soon by YouTube.”

In an update, Waxman reports, “YouTube, which had earlier declined to comment for the story, issued a statement after this story was published, pointing out that it has rented movies for a year, while declining to comment on the broader initiative it is about to launch with the major studios on board. ‘We’ve steadily been adding more and more titles since launching movies for rent on YouTube over a year ago, and now have thousands of titles available,’ a spokesperson said. ‘Outside of that, we don’t comment on rumor or speculation.'”

“But in fact the video giant has never rented mainstream movies on this scale during the traditional DVD window,” Waxman reports. “The service is the biggest studio VOD deal since all the major studios signed on to Apple’s iTunes rental service in January 2008… It was not clear what YouTube would charge.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Google’s YouTube is currently included as an app within Apple’s iOS devices which include iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Apple TV.


  1. Apparently Apple has no issue with competition on its devices, hence NetFlix on iOS – including AppleTV. I use Apples movie listings from time to time, and always check my NetFlix account first to see if NetFlix has the movie since I already pay for NetFlix.

    1. Apple is smart enough to know that it cannot lock up all content going to iOS devices. If Apple tries to do that, then the backlash would be detrimental. Apple does have a pretty good grip on music because of its ecosystem – iTunes Store and software plus devices. But video is a more complex game, and I see the latest version of the AppleTV as a positive step towards providing the consumer with a unified interface to a diverse set of content.

  2. Yeah MDN, I think you have it right. The authors of these articles seem to forget that Apple is in the business of selling hardware. They music, videos, app, and such exist to boost sales on their devices. Apple has said many times that it’s iTunes store was run at just slightly above break-even. If Apple can get some other company to do all the hard work and offer the video as a service, I am sure Apple will be more than happy to make it’s install base available to that company, even if it is Google. As long as the service is available on Apple’s device and not artificially crippled, Apple will welcome it with open arms. Look, they did it already with Netflix.

    Apple nag Google are not fighting on this issue. Here is a case where both companies can win! Besides, if this approach fails, I am sure Apple is more than willing to come in with an offer for a better VOD service that will be better for consumers.

    1. Yea, google is actually in content creation business. It cares only on Ads. While Apple is just channeling it. I think that was what Steve Jobs originally thought until Google went to phone business as well.

        1. No, Apple will not get 30%, but then again, it is not covering the cost of the deals or infrastructure needed to run this service. Apple gets the benefit without the associated costs. Seems like a win for Apple.

  3. In terms of earnings, Google is essentially a one-product company: search. They are desperately trying to diversify the business. Their strategy seems to be to build the brand by launching all sorts of endeavors, mostly tracking what Apple does, then figure how to make it all profitable later.

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