YouTube Gears Up for Video-on-Demand Overhaul

Three major studios reportedly signed

It appears that YouTube is emerging as the latest company to position itself as a Netflix alternative. According to the New York Post, the video-streaming site is finalizing plans to expand its paid movie rental business in the next few months, with an official announcement about its video-on-demand plans expected to come before the end of the year. With Netflix subscribers threatening to abandon the service after a recent 60 percent price hike, YouTube joins other video sites lining up to grab those lost customers. 

Former Netflix executive Robert Kyncl and ex-Paramount digital execs Alex Carloss and Malik Ducard are now on its team, which means YouTube has the right people needed to develop a real on-demand service, said the Post. Google CEO Larry Page is also said to be pushing for a YouTube expansion.

YouTube launched a paid movie service this past May, but it hasn’t been well advertised on the site’s home page. The site currently offers about 6,000 movies, which users have 30 days to begin but just 24 hours to watch once they’re started.

Not only could the new on-demand service get a bigger chunk of YouTube’s home page, but Google could begin offering it on Android phones and tablets to help increase sales of its hardware. “You're going to start seeing YouTube on more devices,” a source told the Post.

YouTube has already signed content deals with Universal, Sony, and Warner, and Lionsgate is rumored to be interested.