YouTube headed north his week, planting its webbed roots in Canada for instant access to full-length feature films and a selection of Canadian content. New releases will also be available for $4.99, while older films for $3.99 as well as several titles available at no cost. Do I sense Canadian-French independent films for free, eh?
Rental periods will range from 24 to 48 hours, based on how recently your chosen film was released. The rental countdown starts once the user hits play not at the moment of purchase.
Canadians will not only have movies, but the new service includes features common to most modern DVDs such as behind the scenes videos, cast interviews and blooper reels (my favorite). YouTube will also offer parodies and remixes, a longtime popular offering at the video portal.
Offering full-length films on top of the website’s mostly user generated content denotes the most recent in a series of efforts to match other video streaming providers like Netflix and Hulu. The video portal began streaming live events around mid-April and purchased Irish video editing firm Green Parrot Pictures to advance the resolution of YouTube videos in March.
Its owner, Google, is on the long list of potential buyers of Hulu. Adding Hulu to the mix would give YouTube entrée to a rather large quantity of first-run U.S. television content.
Canada represents a lucrative market with an average of 251 online videos adding up 17 hours of content over the month of March, compared to just 204 online videos adding up 15 hours of content watched by the average American. The information released by market research firm comScore, denotes that Canadians usually spend more time watching videos online than people in any other country.
That’s what you get for living up north in the colder climate, eh?