One of the great things about the Internet has always been all the free stuff you can find on it -- and I don't mean pirating. Sites like Hulu and Slashcontrol and countless others have been offering films and television programs for free through their websites. That's started to change recently. First Hulu announced the debut of a premium pay service for users who want access to the vast majority of the site's content, and now comes news that Google's looking to get into the online movie streaming business, which will utilize YouTube. Are the days of free Internet content nearing an end?
The Financial Times says that Google has approached major studios about launching a global pay per view movie service by the end of 2010. If this comes to fruition, analysts speculate that YouTube will become one of the major players in the online video streaming marketplace.
According to sources, Google is using their clout as the most well-known search engine and YouTube's reputation to pitch the service. They feel this will attract lots of visitors to the venture, which translates to money for them and Hollywood. Talks have been ongoing for quite some time, but apparently it's ramped up recently. If Google jumps into the streaming movie business and gets Google TV up and running, they'll theoretically be able to give places like Netflix and iTunes a run for their money. The one potential snag here is pricing. While no price has been set, the rumored amount is five bucks per movie. Seems steep to me, given everything else out there.
I'm all for competition since it should help consumers, so Google's welcome to join the party. Would you pay to stream movies through YouTube? Would you pay $5 a movie? Share your thoughts below.