Google is reportedly in talks with the major movie studios to launch full-length video rentals on YouTube by year’s end. YouTube has already experimented with film rentals, offering selections from the Sundance Festival earlier this year when it would not rule out the addition of Hollywood movies. And the site was reportedly in talks
with the same studios around this time last year, so this does not come as much of a surprise, the Financial Times’ “scoop” notwithstanding (subscription required
However, YouTube’s movie rental program currently focuses on independent filmmakers
and music artists
. The addition of mainstream, pay-per-view feature films to YouTube would represent a significant development, regardless of how long these reported talks have been ongoing (at least a year).
Most of us want to watch full-length films on our large, flatscreen televisions and — if we’re lucky — our surround sound speaker systems, which transform any living room into a private movie theater delightfully lacking in other people, their cellphones, and their crinkly candy wrappers.