YouTube's fledgling movie rental program will soon be taking an interesting twist: some content owners will soon be able to use a "self-service" tool to charge for access to their videos, product manager Hunter Walk said this week in an interview with MediaPost.
YouTube first delved into rentals with a test in conjunction with the Sundance Film Festival. That, in connection with the company's development of an automated rental program, further suggests that the company is hoping to get a foothold with the creators of low-budget or niche films that may slip through the cracks at iTunes or the Netflix instant-watch stores. Few details are currently available--no revenue-sharing, no information on what kind of flexibility content owners will have over pricing, and no final timetable--but it's an interesting move on behalf of YouTube parent company Google as it competes with Apple and Netflix for the growing online video rental market.
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