YouTube’s library includes recent releases such as Hanna, Fast Five, and Red Riding Hood, as well as past hits like The Dark Knight and Reservoir Dogs. British classics such as Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels are also included.
The UK is the third country to get the video giant’s movie rental service. It was first rolled out in the US back in May, and last month in Canada.
According to a Guardian report, Google-owned YouTube signed UK-specific deals with a number of Hollywood movie companies as well as several British studios.
Users of the new service will have to pay between £2.49 and £3.49 per movie. They’ll have 30 days to begin viewing it, and 48 hours once they’ve started watching it.
YouTube’s new service goes up against Amazon’s well-established LoveFilm service, which is comparable to some extent to Netflix in the US. LoveFilm claims to have more than 1.5 users in the UK and Europe. Other competitors include Apple, whose UK rental service offers some movies for as little as 99p.
In a blog post on Friday, YouTube business product manager Matteo Vallone elaborated on what’s on offer. “Many movie pages….feature YouTube Movie Extras with free behind-the-scenes videos, cast interviews, parodies, clips and remixes from YouTube’s unique community of content creators. Over time we’ll also be adding additional videos and features to YouTube Movie Extras so that you can get even more into movies on YouTube.”
He added: “Britain has a long history of cinema, starting from the first moving pictures being developed on celluloid film in the UK. Now British film buffs can be part of the digital revolution too, at youtube.com/movies.”
While short user-generated clips still form the bulk of YouTube’s content, the video service has recently been working on bringing more professional-grade content to viewers as it fights for an increased share of the lucrative home entertainment market.