Archive for free classic movies on YouTube
A couple of weeks ago, YouTube announced it would be adding 3000 videos to the site available to rent. YouTube has offered videos for quite a while, that’s nothing new. In addition to the huge number of videos available to watch within the YouTube community itself, YouTube has offered full-length movies to rent for the past year. Now, in collaboration with a number of studios, including Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, Universal, and Lionsgate they will begin to add a lot more content, and a lot of current new releases of first-run films. Fox is possibly inline to sign on as well. This is great news for the seriously impatient among us who need to see all the latest new releases the second they hit the streets. Though I think they are more a threat to services like RedBox and the already ailing video stores, like Blockbuster. Why get dressed and go rent a video from a box that you have to bring back when you can now turn to YouTube and just rent it from there?
On the other hand, YouTube isn’t offering anything that Amazon hasn’t been offering for quite a while now with it’s Instant Videos service. Amazon also offers TV shows current and past by the episode or by the season..so, I don’t think YouTube’s jumping on the bandwagon with movie offerings is really any thing to go all gooey over.
I would like to mention here that YouTube has been very, very gung-ho on the whole Copyright violation thing of late. Never mind that a huge percentage of their user content consists of videos with either copyrighted songs or clips of shows or movies or other things that could probably be considered copyright violations. Lots of videos are being pulled and their publisher’s getting DCMA love notes from YouTube. Maybe they are just trying to clean up their act, avoid problems and lawsuits, and make nice with their new studio friends. Then again, maybe they have an underlying agenda of trying to stop people from offering for free what they are now trying to get them to pay to watch through their rental service..hmmmm..::rubs chin in contemplation:::. Not that stopping copyright violation isn’t a good thing, but being overzealous and clamping down even on things that are probably within the Fair Use boundaries is probably gonna do more harm than good. But that’s a topic for another post.
The question here is will YouTube’s throwing their hat into the movie rental arena with new first-run movies, in contrast to Netflix’s 28-day waiting period and lack of streaming availability of most new releases, hurt Netflix’s bottom line? This is just my opinion, and I’m not a business guru by any means. I don’t study the market share statics and all that data. Personally, I don’t think Netflix has much to worry about from YouTube offering new movies. Since Netflix doesn’t offer the newer videos, and their customers know this and yet signed up anyway, I don’t see people who are now paying $8 or $10 or even $15 per month to watch unlimited streaming movies and TV shows, documentaries, and all the other wonders Netflix has to offer, in addition to the many thousands of DVD only offerings, being swayed to jump ship and go spend 2.99 or 3.99 per movie. They may supplement with a rental here and there, but abandoning Netflix? Nah, I’m not thinkin’ that’s gonna happen. YouTube would have to seriously step up their game. While they do offer new release movies, a lot of the movies they are trying to charge 2.99 a pop for, you can already watch 24/7 with your Netflix subscription. Now,if the studios clamped down and Netflix’s offerings seriously decreased and their prices had a major hike..maybe we’d have a ballgame.
I don’t really see them putting a huge dent in Amazon’s rental business either, since Amazon also offers some free streaming movies, much more recent than YouTube’s free offerings, and Amazon Prime customers get unlimited free streaming. It is a good move for YouTube though, they have a huge user base, and it’s a value-added service for those already spending large chunks of time on YouTube to be able to rent a movie if they choose. If Google was smart, they might look into taking some of their hugely successful YouTube stars, like Shay Carl, Shane Dawson, IJustine, etc, and looking into some star vehicles for them to feature in.
I love YouTube, don’t get me wrong, and I do want to give YouTube props for one kinda cool thing about their free offerings. They are a goldmine for people who love really old movies and B-movies. I had a look and, although they do have a very limited selection of newer old movies, like Ghostbusters, Dick, Supersize Me, Deuce Bigelow European Gigolo, and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, to name a few, the largest part of their library is old classics. If you are a lover of Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne..just to name a few, you should go check out YouTube’s free movie section. I’m gonna watch this one later! and then maybe this one! They also have a pretty impressive documentary section that is worth checking out.