Google is about to expand its movie-on-demand offering through YouTube, according to The Wrap. The expansion of the library to include titles from major studios will purportedly begin in the next week or two.
YouTube has rented movies out for the last year through YouTube Movies, but on a much smaller scale with lesser-known offerings. If The Wrap’s reports are true, the revamped service would contend with Apple’s iTunes Store in the streaming movie rentals space.
The Wrap cites a major studio executive as its source, lending credence to the rumor. Studios have traditionally been wary of digital distribution, and the hoops Apple has had to jump through to get all sorts of media, including movies, television and music, into its digital catalogue may have paved the way to make YouTube’s own negotiations easier.
Despite this, there are still reportedly major holdouts in Paramount and Fox, who are both part of the iTunes rental program.
One major advantage for Apple, beyond its established platform with a well-stocked catalogue, is the ease with which media can be streamed to more appropriate devices such as the iPad for viewing on the go and the Apple TV.
Personally, the ease with which I can choose my viewing medium is slightly more important than the sheer extent of any catalogue — I’d much rather stick to my Apple TVs and the iTunes Store than return to watching media on a computer or shelling out for a Google TV device.