Many sources have published reports that Google is negotiating with Hollywood studios for deals to offer streaming movie rentals on YouTube. The service already has permission to stream some full length movies for free, but these are older titles from the back catalog with limited appeal. YouTube wants to offer the latest movies, and if possible, on the same day as the DVD release.
Hollywood already makes its movies available for rental as downloads and streaming from other services, including the Apple iTunes store, Vudu, and CinemaNow. The difference here is that YouTube is the runaway leader in terms of traffic. In July, it delivered 8.95 billion views in the U.S.; that’s “billion” with a big B. By comparison, Hulu managed 457 million views which is about one twentieth as much. It’s no surprise that Hollywood might want access to the YouTube traffic to try to wring some more revenue out of its movies.