YouTube users in the UK may soon gain access to a bigger and better selection of movies through the site – if they’re willing to fork over a fee. Rumor has it that Google intends to begin testing a Netflix-like subscription service in the region.
Claire Atkinson reported late last night, "The search giant, which has been in talks with Hollywood studios for months, is looking to launch the streaming service first in Europe, in particular the UK, before expanding to the US, said executives who have been briefed on the plan."
Atkinson also wrote, "Google has earmarked $100 million for striking content deals with studios and other premium content providers in its quest to expand its offerings beyond the homemade videos that dominate the site."
All of this is unconfirmed, but it makes a fair amount of sense. Other reports have indicated that YouTube wants to pay celebs millions of dollars for custom content, so the money and the will to use it is there.
Plus, by launching its service in the UK, YouTube would avoid going toe-to-toe with Hulu and Netflix at first, and have a bit of time to work out any kinks before exposing the service to a much larger audience.
We’ll see what happens, in any event. No timeline’s been established for when a launch might occur.