YouTube extends movie rental service to Japan

YouTube extends movie rental service to Japan

We reported that YouTube had rolled out its movie rental service in Canada back in September, and then we announced that the UK was the third market to get YouTube movies in October.

Now Japan is getting the YouTube movie rental service, with local users able to rent Hollywood and Japanese movies through the video-streaming website, as reported by Yuhei Mizuno, Director of Content Partnerships at Google Japan.

“Japan has a long and revered history of cinema. Masters Ozu Yasujiro and Kurosawa Akira have made a lasting influence on the art of filmmaking. Moreover, the Japanese nation is well-known for its voracious appetite of films both local and global. So we have some great news for all the film buffs in Japan — YouTube will now offer Japanese and Hollywood releases for rent at”

To kick things off, they’ll be starting with a few hundred titles, covering older classics and contemporary flicks from two of Japan’s largest studios – Bandai and Toei. Furthermore, Hollywood tudios Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are also getting in on the act, meaning that films such as the latest Harry Potter offering will be made available too.

“Over time we’ll be adding additional videos and features to the Movies page, as well as featuring titles from additional studios”, adds Mizuno. “Japanese users should check back often to see what’s new.”

It’s not clear yet how much the movies will cost, but using the UK structure as a guideline, films start there at around £2.49, and users have 30 days to start watching, after which they have 48 hours to complete the viewing.

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