Google is in talks with the Hollywood studios to launch a global pay-per-view video service by the end of this year, the “Financial Times” has reported. If it happens, YouTube will be transformed into a major player to challenge the multichannel pay television establishment.
Google is said to be telling studios that “the international appeal of a streaming on-demand movie service” tied to the world’s most popular search engine and YouTube will attract a “huge number” of viewers. Prices per rental aren’t set yet but are expected to be in the $5 range.
The report said negotiations between Google and the studios have been going on for some months now but have ramped up in recent weeks, perhaps because of the Apple announcement. Combined with Google TV, the software company's Web television service, a movie deal could turn Google into a major player in digital media distribution.