Google considers UK launch of YouTube movie service
It is being reported that Google is planning to launch an unlimited subscription service for movies and is considering starting it in the UK first to avoid stiff US competition from Amazon and Netflix.
Google is said to have been in talks with Hollywood studios for months and will look to launch in the UK before expanding to the US.
The New York Post says Google has earmarked $100m for striking content deals with studios and other content providers in an effort to broaden YouTube beyond user generated content.
The Post says the streaming project is being spearheaded by Robert Kyncl, Google’s entertainment czar who joined from Netflix.
“Google is going to be launching channels in Europe and will launch a subscription video-on-demand service,” one Hollywood executive told The Post. “They are going to spend $100 million on content.”
Of course, not all studios are on board. Viacom, which houses Paramount, is still pursuing legal appeals against a court ruling in favor of Google over a lawsuit centered on copyright.
The launch of a YouTube movie streaming service would put Google head to head with Amazon’s recently purchased UK business LoveFilm which it acquired in January.
It comes in addition to the limited range of full length movies that can be watched directly on YouTube for free. These include titles such as Jackie Chan in Wheels On Meals and Horror of The Zombies.
News of the film service follows reports earlier this week that YouTube was in negotiations to stream live NBA and NHL games.
Gautam Anand, Google’s director of content partnerships for Asia Pacific, told Bloomberg: It’s fair to say that there will be a lot more appealing sports content you’ll see on YouTube. We have ongoing conversations with pretty much everyone.”
Earlier this week it was reported that a movie was being planned that would bring together a host of YouTube viral stars using the theme of Rickrolling.