YouTube to launch free movie service
YouTube is to launch a free movie service after striking deals with US studios including Sony Pictures and UK service Blinkbox.
YouTube, which already delivers TV through deals with Channel 4 and Channel 5, will initially make more than 400 titles available for free and on-demand.
The new section, www.youtube.com/movies, is offering films ranging from horror titles, such as Night of the Living Dead, to ‘classics’ such as The Clan of the Cave Bear and even Bollywood hits.
“This is one of many efforts to ensure that people can find all the different kinds of video they want to see, from bedroom vlogs and citizen journalism reports to full-length films and TV shows,” said the YouTube head of video partnerships, Donagh O’Malley. “We hope film lovers enjoy the range of titles in this free library, whether catching up on a mainstream hit or delving into the vast archive of classic films from decades past.”
The deal with Blinkbox, which charges from £1.99 for the rental of movies and TV shows, will see about 165 films made available for free. For Blinkbox, which will receive revenue from advertising around the films, the move to make content available for free is about building the brand and reaching new audiences.
Titles will include Hotel New Hampshire, with Rob Lowe and Jodie Foster, and The Dark Side of the Sun, starring Brad Pitt.
“The size and scope of YouTube’s audience is immense and this exciting tie-up allows us to reach film fans and potential users outside of our usual audience and helps us build on our already rapidly growing customer base,” said the Blinkbox chief executive, Michael Comish.
The YouTube US film service launched in April, with a mixture of free and paid film content, and the YouTube UK movie site may consider introducing paid models in the future.
Originally published by the Guardian. Read the original story here