I'm going to pretend that I'm not writing about Google or anything affiliated with them again. That being said, YouTube announced in its company blog Wednesday that this coming Friday it will be launching its new rental service. I wouldn't expect another Netflix just yet though. YouTube partnered with the Sundance Film Festival to bring you such independent films as Bass Ackwards, The Cove, One Too Many Mornings and Children of Invention. YouTube is searching for more independent film makers and other partners as well. They have already invited several potential partners and want to keep the content coming.
Anything that brings more content to the YouTube community is a good thing... And making content available for rent will give our partners unprecedented control over the distribution of their work.
They aren't joking either. The potential partners invited get to retain all their rights to decide where the content will be available, the pricing and length of the rental period. It also seems YouTube has its sights set on mobile platforms and others like Apple TV, Boxee, the PS3 and more. It's a good thing that YouTube realizes user generated content is it's lifeblood and this certainly seems like the next logical step in its evolution. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.