YouTube recently announced it plans to stream Hollywood movies on demand, but three major studios are not signing on with YouTube. According to The Wrap, Fox and Paramount have no intention of moving “forward with any deal at this time.” Disney has not made their intentions clear; but all indications seem they are not interested either.
No surprises that Warner Bros., Sony and Universal have closed deals to license rental content through YouTube. From my own personal experience, both Warner Bros. and Sony have been in the forefront marketing on demand movies while Universal has been low key until now.
Speculations of why Fox and Paramount are not making a deal with YouTube is because Google, who is the parent company, supports pirate sites by including them in searches, linking to them and advertising on them.
Interestingly though, Paramount’s parent company Viacom is currently locking legal horns with Google over YouTube piracy of its content. Viacom lost the first round, and it looks like the legal battle is going to the federal court. For its part, Paramount is aggressively seeking new media partners, and has in recent months set its sights on cable and satellite partners. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.
The truth of the matter is that YouTube has never rented mainstream movies on this scale during the traditional DVD window. Now that DVD revenues continue to plummet, the major studios that have joined up are making a smart move with its 130 million monthly users of potential movie renters.