Google’s YouTube today announced plans to add around 3,000 movies for on-demand rental on its service, effectively declaring its intention to compete with Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. While YouTube has largely been known for quirky independent fare, the new content will include well-known flicks from major studios, including classics like Caddyshack and new releases like Inception and The King’s Speech.
The new content will be available at youtube.com/movies beginning today, and more titles will be rolled out in coming weeks. Within the movie section, users can search solely for movies, or search the whole YouTube site. Previously, YouTube offered films for rental from the Sundance Film Festival, and a few other titles, but this is its first major foray into the hotly-contested full-length feature film arena.
YouTube didn’t specify pricing but said it would be “industry standard” and the few films visible now are being offered at $2.99. Payments are processed through Google CheckOut.
The company appears to be taking a “Google Places” by aggregating additional information — Rotten Tomatoes reviews, clips, special features, etc. — related to the movies, effectively creating a one-stop shop. The additional pieces of content are dubbed YouTube Movie Extras.