Film fans in the US have been able to rent movies on YouTube since 2010, but last April we announced that the Google-owned video-streaming service was starting to bring the major studios on board for its movie rental service, signing deals with the likes of Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, Universal and Lionsgate.
Today, YouTube has revealed that it has signed a licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures, which will see almost 500 new titles arrive on YouTube and Google Play in the coming weeks, but they’ll only be available in the US and Canada.
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“Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Paramount has been responsible for some of the most memorable films in cinema history,” says Malik Ducard, Director of Content Partnerships at YouTube. “With the addition of Paramount, we now have five of the six major studios and over ten independent movie studios offering nearly 9,000 movies for rent to millions of people around the world. It’s still early days for us, and we’ll continue adding new titles and expanding our service to more countries this year.”
YouTube has been gradually rolling out its movie-rental service to other countries in addition to the US, starting with Canada last September and followed quickly after by the UK. It has since added the likes of Japan and France too.
Some of the movies from Paramount are available from today, and you can expect to see more arrive on YouTube and Google Play shortly. This is all in stark contrast to the state-of-play five years ago, when Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures, announced it was suing YouTube for $1bn, for letting its content be streamed illegally.
Crucially, however, this deal means that only 20th Century Fox is missing from Google’s movie-renting armory, but considering News Corporation’s (Fox’s parent company) chief Rupert Murdoch isn’t overly fond of Google, it’s maybe best not holding your breath for this to happen.