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Is YouTube going to offer streaming movie rentals?

YouTube's most popular content has always been user-generated, with a lot of self-produced stars making a name for themselves on the site. People go there to watch the latest viral videos, and maybe TV shows that haven't yet been taken down due to copyright. That's why it might sound strange that YouTube is reportedly getting into the business of streaming Hollywood movies, a la Hulu or Netflix. According to the Wall Street Journal, heavy-hitting movie studios like Sony and Warner Brothers are already in talks with YouTube.

Streaming rentals would be available for a limited time, and would either cost a flat fee (like iTunes) or be ad-supported (like Hulu). The WSJ speculates that $4 would be the price to rent a new release. Although this squares with what iTunes charges, iTunes movies are downloadable, and don't necessarily need a speedy internet connection like streaming does. YouTube is no-commenting the story, except to say that they're developing their relationships with movie studios.

[via Wired]

Tags: hollywood, movies, news, rental, streaming, video, youtube