updated 12:10 pm EDT, Fri April 23, 2010
YouTube hints at mainstream movie service
YouTube today temporarily put up a store page (since taken down) that hinted at a full-fledged movie rental service. The briefly available page showed the independent movies that defined the trial service but also major movies such as 3:10 to Yuma and Precious. Prices ranged between 99 cents and $4.
The posting also implied that certain movies might have limited rental windows: The Cove was listed as being available for rent only until May 8th. All payments would be handled through Google Checkout.
YouTube has been asked for comment on the appearance, but hasn't had time to respond as of this writing.
Although some have interpreted YouTube rentals as a rival to iTunes, it's believed the company is more under pressure to generate revenue that goes beyond ads. It regularly collects income from branded channels and targeted ads, but the majority of YouTube's content remains amateur video that rarely gets enough traffic to benefit from ads. Rentals provide a direct source of revenue and encourage more commercial material. [via DailyTech]