TheWrap is reporting that as early as next week, YouTube will be making the leap into streaming video-on-demand service, putting it in direct competition with Apple’s iTunes.
Currently, the Google-owned video giant states they have “over 7,000 hours of long-form content on YouTube, including thousands of short films and television episodes and hundreds of full-length movies.” However, this latest venture will be the first time major movie studios like Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. will be onboard.
While YouTube has had its trouble with the major Hollywood studios in the past, it would appear that the ability to reach the website’s 130 million monthly users is too lucrative an opportunity to pass up.
Though no official announcement has been made, the added dimension of YouTube will likely reshape the online video playing field. Rental giant Netflix is said to announce its Q1 earnings this coming Monday after beginning the year with 20 million subscribers in the US and Canada. But, with a more limited selection of streaming movies and television shows, it will be interesting to see if having more options in the VOD market will end hurting physical DVD rentals.
Regardless, Hollywood’s transition into the digital space is a big win for consumers on all fronts.
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