YouTube Moves Into Netflix's Neighborhood

Google-owned video site begins to stream movie rentals

By Sajid Farooq
|  Thursday, Apr 22, 2010  |  Updated 5:15 PM CDT
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The front page of YouTube's rental store.

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Netflix is sailing high right now, so news that YouTube has relaunched its underwhelming streaming movie rental service again should not phase them.

In February, YouTube launched a pilot program offering five streaming independent movies from the Sundance Film Festival for $3.99. Critics were quick to label the program a dud but YouTube countered, saying it was quite happy with only 2,684 views netting $10,709.16.

YouTube has since expanded its library with more "independent, anime, Bollywood, and documentary films" and relaunched its service Thursday. Rentals cost between $0.99 – $3.99.

Google's stepchild may have a hard time turning its second run at streaming movies more successful than the first. The San Bruno-based company is quietly entering into an already saturated market dominated by iTunes and Netflix.

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