Hundreds of movies from Walt Disney Studios, Disney-Pixar, and Dreamworks Studios are going to be offered through the YouTube Movie service, following a deal struck today by Disney and the leading Internet video source.
Surprising? No, not at all.
We’ve been saying for years that it’s only a matter of time before YouTube goes head-to-head with Netflix, the TV networks and the cable industry to become a full, end-to-end provider for the music and movie studios. And that’s what YouTube is getting with the Disney deal. The next step as we see it will be original YouTube content–quality studio grade content, not zit-popping-in-the-mirror vids. Why run a show on NBC or HBO if the viewers are on YouTube? I give it another year before we see something exclusive on YouTube similar to Arrested Development on Netflix.
According to Google, the owner of YouTube, only a handful of titles will be available for the holiday, but over the coming weeks more and more of Disney and DreamWorks titles will appear on Youtube.com/movies.
Unlike most YouTube content, the titles from Disney will not be free. From what I’ve seen–Cars, Cars 2,
Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland–most are renting for about $.99 for 24 hours. A few others, such as Assassins Creed, are going for $3.99 with a 48-hour pass.
This makes for an exciting day for Google and YouTube and one more nail in the coffin for NetFlix. Today Netflix hit its 52 week low after announcing a 400 million stock offering and selling of its debt to raise cash as subscribers continue to exit the service. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to this latest deal.