YouTube announced today that it is adding about 3,000 new movie titles for rent in the U.S. as well as some new original content from partners as part of the "future of video".
The movie titles, the company says, will be accompanied by reviews and behind-the-scenes movie extras. "Whether it’s short movie trailers, funny movie parodies or full-length blockbuster films, we encourage you to sit back and settle in to the YouTube movies experience," writes Head of YouTube Salar Kamangar.
He says YouTube is bolstering its investment in partner content as well. "Our 20,000+ partners—folks like Machinima, Annoying Orange and Ryan Higa—are producing original content for the web and commanding TV-size audiences for their own brand of programming," he says. "Through YouTube Next, we’re helping fuel the creation of this type of content with initiatives like the YouTube Creator Institute and YouTube NextUp, following past initiatives like Partner Grants(which brought us Key of Awesome, creators of one of 2010’s most-watched videos) and $1,000 B&H Photo credits. In the coming year, we’ll bring even more content to YouTube. Building on the success of Partner Grants and YouTube NextUp, we’re providing even more resources to creators who you’ll know from TV or Hollywood, and to existing YouTube partners who have already built loyal audiences on the site. Look out for more details on this in the coming months."
More details about YouTube's movie plans should be made available later today.
Google I/O, the company's developer conference kicks off this week, and developments around Android, Chrome, Chrome OS, and Google TV are expected. It will be interesting to see what kinds of YouTube-related news is sprinkled in there (particularly in relation to Google TV).
It will be very interesting to see how YouTube fares in movie rentals, particularly as Facebook becomes a destination for this activity (another area where we're bound to see increasing competition between Google and Facebook), and as YouTube is performing better in Google search results, since the Panda algorithm update. Will we see YouTube movie rentals appear in prominently in generic searches for specific films?
YouTube also recently announced YouTube LIve, a new destination for live streaming video options, and a platform it is sharing with select partners to provide live video. The site has already provided users with access to live streaming of the Royal Wedding, the Coachella festival, and soon a live concert film experience for the band My Morning Jacket, to name a few.
With recently released media ads for AdWords, and video sites in general faring well post-Panda update, Google search ought to be a bigger entry point for online video views than ever before.