YouTube Forges Deal With Disney for Movie Rentals on Service

Google Inc.’s YouTube announced a deal with Walt Disney Co. to offer rentals of the studio’s movies, letting U.S. and Canadian users watch such films as “Cars 2” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

A handful of titles will be available for rent today (November 23 was the date of this story), with hundreds more appearing in the weeks to come, YouTube said on its blog. Disney joins Sony Corp., Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. in offering rentals on YouTube. Some titles are available for free, with many new releases costing $3.99 for 48 hours.

“Check back in because even more of the great Disney classics and new releases will be added in weeks to come, including our YouTube Movie Extras with behind-the-scenes clips, interviews, and more,” said Minjae Ormes, movies and television marketing manager at YouTube, in the blog post.

YouTube, the largest video-sharing site, is expanding its media offerings and helping Google curb its reliance on Internet-search advertising. The rental effort steps up competition with Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc., three of the top providers of digital entertainment. Last week, Google announced a music service that lets users stream songs from more than 1,000 record labels.

With the new agreement, YouTube users can get access to movies from Disney, Disney-Pixar and DreamWorks Studios. The films will be available on Google’s television service as well. Netflix customers, meanwhile, will lose online access to late- release Disney films in February when the video service’s agreement with the Starz cable network expires.

From Bloomberg News.

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