YouTube is launching a video rental service, initially featuring five movies shown at this year’s Sundance Festival, with plans to expand later in the year. The first five films for rent are “The Cove,” “Bass Ackwards,” “One Too Many Mornings,” “Homewrecker” and “Children of Invention.” The service will go live on 22 January and will only be available in the US.
Content providers will be able to set their own prices, with YouTube taking a cut of the revenue. All but one of the Sundance films is being offered for $3.99 (£2.50) each for users to watch over a 48-hour viewing period.
In its company blog, YouTube said: “In the coming weeks we’ll also invite a small group of partners across other industries, in addition to independent film, to participate in this new option.”