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Still trying to turn lucrative, YouTube is reportedly working on a movie rental service. The online video sharing site has been almost entirely reliant on user-submitted content, but it is in talks with various film studios about securing licenses to host motion pictures. Among the names in the discussion are Sony Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., and Warner Bros. Studios.
Speculation has it that while some movies will be viewable for free on an ad-supported basis, others will cost $4 to rent. This shouldn't come as a surprise as YouTube has been working to catalog more premium content. Turning to feature films may bring Google a welcomed profit, having failed thus far to earn a buck off their $1.65 billion investment.
I get the feeling that many people will condemn the thought of YouTube offering paid content. With a slogan like "Broadcast Yourself," it's easy to call YouTube a sellout and think that it's becoming a little less about you, and a little more about pushing mainstream media. I ask you, though, if the current system remains unaffected, is there really a problem?