YouTube has finally locked up all the studio deals to get itself fully into the online movie rental game. The report indicates it could launch as soon as this week with movies from majors including Sony, Warner and Universal, as well as smaller entities like Lionsgate, Kino Lorber and other independents. This doesn't appear to be a challenge to (now bigger than Comcast, but still smaller than HBO) Netflix, with the unnamed studio exec quoted in the article saying how happy they are to see a new entrant renting (and eventually selling) movies that's not using a subscription model. Apple currently leads the online VOD market after jumping in with iTunes back in 2008, so obviously that's a main target but without the important info (pricing, picture quality and content) it's hard to tell how much of a challenger this is. VOD rumors have swirled around YouTube for quite some time and it rolled out $3.99 rentals of indie movies a little over a year ago, here's hoping they go the whole way and offer nothing less than 3D and 4K streaming to start.
Update: The store currently shows a slew of Weinstein produced movies (Scary Movie 4, Death Proof) and a few Lionsgate flicks (Made, Reservoir Dogs) available for $2.00 or so but most have been up since 2009 so keep an eye on this page for any new flicks. [Thanks, Rocco G.]