Movie Rentals

A deal was announced today that Walt Disney Pictures will start allowing hundreds of their films to be rented on YouTube, the Google-owned video hosting site that has also been pushing itself as a place to rent mainstream video titles since May of this year. Disney’s deal makes it the fourth big studio, joining Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros., to allow easy access to their movies not just on the YouTube.com site, but also on Android powered devices and on Google TV. Some Disney titles have already started hitting the site, with older movies like Alice in Wonderland available for a $1.99 rental, and newer titles like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides available for $4.99. In addition to pushing movie rentals on their site, YouTube has also been active in developing branded channels where big time media companies can distribute video for free. This new Disney rentals deal was proceeded earlier this month by an announcement that the two companies were launching a co-branded YouTube channel for Disney’s original series. According to Reuters, this new channel will include, “video drawn from relevant family-friendly content currently available across YouTube, original video produced by Disney, as well as a blend of current Disney Interactive original series, select Disney Channel programming and Disney user created content.”

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There was a brief period where Netflix worked so well that it was like magic. For a small fee you could consume as many movies as you wanted from a gigantic library, through DVDs sent back and forth in the mail between you and the service. Then the company launched their Watch Instantly service, and suddenly you could watch a portion of their library even more easily by streaming them right from the website. At first that was a free option, built right into your subscription, but eventually the pricing structures switched around so that you were paying a bit for both. Not a problem, Netflix was still a near magical service that allowed film enthusiasts, even those who lived in the country and not in cultural epicenters, greater access to more movies than they’ve ever had in their lives. Eventually use of Watch Instantly exploded, it was a hugely popular service that had lower overhead costs than shipping DVDs through mail, Netflix seemed to have two huge cash cows in their hands. But that’s where the problems started.

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There’s not much that warms our cold, cold hearts here at FSR, but whenever we get emails from our friends abroad who can’t watch trailers or rent movies we lovingly suggest, a little piece of us dies because sharing a love of film is what it’s all about. Fortunately, you can sound your victory trumpets because sharing that love just got easier, and it’s now ribbed for your pleasure. Movie rental overlords at Netflix have decided to conquer Canada after laying siege to Blockbuster. While the company won’t offer rentals by-mail (because it costs and arm and a loony to mail things up there), they will be offering the far superior Watch Instantly option which will continue to expand (and will probably be the only service offered in a few year’s time). Huzzah! Congratulations, Canada. Welcome to Never Going To Your Job Again.

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From the people that brought you Sneezing Panda, it’s a movie rental concept that will rival Netflix, Redbox, and that guy that comes over sometimes and acts out all the parts to Sleepless in Seattle for you despite the restraining order.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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