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YouTube to Begin Offering PPV Movies

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The streaming world is about to get a major new competitor, if a report in the Financial Times is correct. The paper reported that YouTube, owned by Google, has been in talks with major Hollywood studios for months as it prepares to launch an international pay-per-view movie service by the end of the year.

The article suggests that the service will offer streamed, not downloaded, movies for about $5 each. While that sounds like another service piling onto what will obviously become a major mode of delivery, the big news is that releases would be timed with the DVD release dates. Currently, DVDs are given an exclusivity windows before movies are offered online. YouTube already offers some pay-per-view movie and TV titles, which is began doing in April.

While it's huge that the dominant online video service will likely enter the premium movie space, there are tantalizing details left to be spelled out. Will consumers warm to the idea of YouTube as a pay site? Will the service allow movies to be loaded on portable players or stream to portable players? Consumers want convenience and like content they can take with them.

With Google TV, the Boxee Box, and a possible Apple iTV all launching later this year, consumers will have a lot of choices for streamed premium content. They winning service will be the one that offers the best combination of content, convenience, and price. With its $9 per month all-you-can-stream plan, that could well turn out to be Netflix.

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