YouTube Declares War Against Apple & Amazon With Digital Movie Rentals

It seems all but lost for poor physical movie rentals. As if the shuttering of Blockbusters around the country wasn’t proof enough, most connected TVs are now coming off the assembly line with built-in digital movie rental options. YouTube, jumping on the bandwagon, announced today that they were dipping their toes into digital movie rentals with a built-in service coming to TVs later this year.

TPVision announced that they would be rolling out YouTube digital rentals to Philips Smart TVs in late 2012. This is a risky move by YouTube simply because they are jumping into an industry that they aren’t particularly successful in. Introducing built-in TV rentals will put YouTube in direct competition with tech goliaths like Amazon and Apple.

While it may seem like a perilous step towards digital entertainment supremacy, YouTube is actually in a prime position to become the industry standard for digital rentals. Here is how they are going to do it.

YouTube has built-in marketing

Millions of people are already visiting YouTube daily. YouTube has no need for marketing outside of their dedicated site. While services like Hulu and Amazon Instant had to reach out to customers through third party channels, YouTube can simply advertise their services directly through their highly visited site.

YouTube has learned from their mistakes

YouTube is familiar with what works and doesn’t work when it comes to movie rentals. When YouTube first announced their digital rental program, many people complained about the limitations on their rented videos. Due to Digital Restriction Management (DRM), many YouTube rentals could not be played on Android phones. This was a huge issue that YouTube faced, and it is something that they have since learned from.

YouTube has a massive movie library

Back in April, YouTube struck a deal with Paramount Pictures that expanded their rental library to nearly 9,000 titles. YouTube also has distribution deals with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Studios. Needless to say, YouTube has an enormous selection of films for every type of customer.

YouTube has star power

If the folks over at Google and YouTube are smart (spoiler: they are), they will get support from their extremely popular partners. Most YouTube celebrities owe their careers to the video-sharing site. If I were recently paid a handsome sum of money by Google to keep making videos, I would certainly promote anything they asked me to. With Google’s check-signing robot filling out checks every month, if YouTube asks partners to jump…you know the rest.

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