Google is planning on growing YouTube to include an unlimited subscription service for movies in Europe, starting with the UK, before expanding to the US. The search giant has been talking with Hollywood studios for months, according to executives who have been briefed on the plan, cited by the New York Post:
Google has earmarked $100 million for striking content deals with studios and other premium content providers in its quest to expand its offerings beyond the homemade videos that dominate the site. "Google is going to be launching channels in Europe and will launch a subscription video-on-demand service," one Hollywood executive told The Post. "They are going to spend $100 million on content." Another Hollywood executive suggested that until Google makes some bolder statements on fighting piracy, they'll continue to have a tough time gaining significant content rights.
The service would be similar to offerings from Netflix and Amazon. Netflix has grown quickly in the US and Canada but has yet to cross the pond. Just last month, Amazon bought Lovefilm, a streaming movie service available in UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.