Amazon and Netflix have been at the forefront as video on demand is concerned, but Google has been quietly lurking behind the scenes and bolstering its catalogue of television and movie content. The latest deal Google has struck is with 20th Century Fox, the details of which will give users early access to Prometheus, three weeks before the movie is set to hit the shelves. Of course, you’ll also get all your favorite Fox television shows.
Some 600 shows, including Glee, Family Guy, and New Girl will now be available via both YouTube and Google Play. But more importantly for Fox, the studio will be regularly releasing high-quality movie downloads through supported streaming platforms including Amazon, iTunes, VUDU, Google Play, YouTube, Playstation, and Xbox three weeks before the physical titles stock the shelves.
“We’re happy to welcome Twentieth Century Fox to the Google family. This new partnership expands our movies and TV shows catalog and, most importantly, gives consumers the opportunity to rent or own some of the best new releases and classic films ever made,” a Google spokesperson told Digital Trends.
Fox’s strategy will offer users early access to a digital copy of new releases to ship titles quicker to consumers and at a cheaper cost than the physical DVDs. New releases will cost $15 instead of the retail value of $20.
Fox is just one among a total of all six major film studios and many independent studios that Google has partnered with, a clear effort on studios part to combat perceived piracy and reignite the sales of movies. The waiting period when a movie is between theater and DVD release is a common cause for pirating content (also known as the “theatrical window”), and this approach at offering titles digitally earlier could help cut down on the habit.
Google has a “nontraditional” business model in a space where Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix are currently boasting successful subscription models. Google Play is currently restricted to offering Google Play users rentals or purchases of movies and television shows. And to our chagrin, a subscription model likely won’t be coming to uesrs in the near future.
Then there’s the YouTube Store, its pay-to-watch video rental and purchasing service that silently debuted in 2010. What you’ll notice is that Google Play’s catalogue overlaps with YouTubes’, though Play provides a more robust library to choose from.
Initially YouTube sold television shows for as low as $0.99 per episode and movies for as low as $3.99. Since then the platform has undergone a few changes and currently only supports movies for rental or purchases. But Google has found a purpose for YouTube’s movie rental service, and has aligned YouTube as a competitor to VUDU and Amazon Instant’s rental service. As Google continues to figure out how to crack the connected TV and television market, YouTube will launch a video on demand rental service for television and connected TV devices in select European countries later this year.