Los Angeles: YouTube is in advanced talks with major Hollywood studios about adding a movie rental service, in a move that could boost online movie rentals and finally allow Google to make a profit from the hugely popular video site, according to a media report Thursday.
YouTube executives are talking to representatives of Lions Gate Entertainment, Sony Corp, MGM and Warner Bros about charging for new movies on the site, the Wall Street Journal reported.
YouTube originally proposed allowing users to watch movies for free with advertisers picking up the cost, but the movie studios insisted on payments for both movie rentals and downloads at a rate of $3.99.
Some movies already make older films available for free on YouTube but the new initiative could even screen movies on the same day they come out on DVD.
YouTube is by far the most popular video site on the web, with 428 million global visitors in June, according to web tracking firm Comscore.