It seems that Google just refuses to learn a lesson when it comes to its trying to get pay-per-view (PPV) to take off on its YouTube video site.
Once again word is popping up that Google is trying to light a fire under its YouTube PPV offerings. (You did know they even did this, didn’t you?) According to the Financial Times (subscription required), Google has been having serious talks with Hollywood film studios about upping the number of films it can offer for streaming rentals through the site. The pricing would run $5 for a rental, but the duration of the rental period has not been discussed.
YouTube has tried this before, and the fact that most people don’t know about it is a testament to how poorly it has gone over. They attempted to make a big push with five films shown at the Sundance film festival, but the combined views of those movies only came to around 1,600. When people think YouTube they generally think of music videos, family videos of people getting hit with a rake in the yard and so on, they don’t immediately think, “Oh, think I’ll go rent a movie!”
When we first heard the news we were a bit puzzled by this, but then the pieces fell into place: Google TV. We know that Google is working on a set top box to be released sometime in the not too distant future, and with Apple supposedly making a new push on the Apple TV to be renamed iTV, it makes sense that Google would be trying to line up some content for the new set top box. While this is pure speculation on our part, it sure makes a lot of sense that this is where the search giant is headed with the product, and $5 rentals streaming to your TV make a lot more sense than doing it on your computer screen.
At this point everything is a mixture of rumor and speculation, but we should know more for sure in the coming weeks.
What say you? Would you rent movies for $5 each from YouTube, even if they were delivered to your TV?