YouTube's fledgling catalog of on-demand movies could be the first step in a new, pay-per-view streaming scheme by parent company Google, if the Financial Times' sources are to be believed. Tipped to launch by the end of 2010, the new service would take advantage of YouTube's well-known brand name; according to the insiders, Google has been wowing studio executives with their potential viewing figures, and is angling for a $5-per-movie rental rate.
That, like services such as Netflix and Hulu, would involve live streaming of content rather than downloads. Negotiations are said to have been ongoing for months now, but to have been accelerated recently after speculation that Apple plan to refresh their Apple TV (rumored to be renamed to the Apple iTV) with a similar focus on streaming.
Google's deals, if agreed, could see their pay-per-view YouTube service included on Google TV, the search giant's own set-top box initiative. Considering they already have the distribution, payment (with Google Checkout) and search systems in place, that would seem an inevitable step.