YouTube introduces movie rentals, only independent titles for now

In an atypically low key beginning, YouTube is starting to roll out a new movie rental service. Currently stocked with only five titles from independent film producers, it won't be posing any threats to the Netflix empire any time soon, but plans are naturally afoot to expand what's on offer. Available between this Friday and the end of this year's Sundance Film Festival, the movies can be rented for $3.99 a piece through the Google Checkout payment system. Prepare your muscles to do some cringing though, as YouTube is said to be working on adding health, fitness and educational videos as well. Still, the focus seems to be on getting indie filmmakers more exposure -- and cash, "the majority" of rental revenue will go to the film producers -- and we can't really argue with that.