If YouTube wasn't serious about movie rentals before, it is now. Today, the company announced that it was expanding its movie offerings by about 3,000 new titles.
While YouTube dropped the news a little while ago, they've now made more details available. "In addition to the hundreds of free movies available on the site since 2009, you will be able to find and rent some of your favorite films," the company said in a blog post. "From memorable hits and cult classics like Caddyshack, Goodfellas, Scarface, and Taxi Driver to blockbuster new releases like Inception, The King’s Speech, Little Fockers, The Green Hornet and Despicable Me. Movies are available to rent at industry standard pricing, and can be watched with your YouTube account on any computer. "
YouTube has partnered with NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros. This is in addition to standing partnerships with Lionsgate, Starz, The Weinstein Company, and Magnolia Pictures (among others).YouTube's movie catalog now boasts over 6,000 titles. Most new releases start at $3.99 and library rentals at $2.99.
Users will have 30 days to begin watching most titles, from the time they purchase the rental. Once a user actually begins the movie, however, they will typically have 24 hours to finish it. The service accepts all major credit cards.
While YouTube says it's always up to the content owner, many titles will be available the same day as their DVD releases.
Interestingly, users can embed movies on other sites, and if a user who hasn't rented the movie views the video, the embedded player will show the movie's trailer along with an overlay that users can click on to rent the full movie. This should make for some interesting virtual viewing party experiences.
The new titles should start appearing today and throughout the week at youtube.com/movies. Have fun.