Paramount strikes deal with Google to add 500 films to rent on YouTube

By Daniel Levine,

Google announced another major acquisition on Wednesday, revealing that Paramount Pictures has agreed to make almost 500 films available for YouTube and Google Play users to rent.

In a blog post on the official YouTube blog, Google announced that some films are already available for rent and that the rest will be uploaded in the next few weeks for users in the US and Canada. More recent films will be available for $3.99 to rent for 48 hours, while older releases are available for $2.99. To stream the film in HD, it will cost an extra dollar.

Paramount and YouTube were once at odds, which came to a head in 2007 when Paramount’s parent company, Viacom, sued YouTube for copyright infringement, notes Businessweek. However, YouTube, which is now owned by Google, has since expanded its pay-streaming service.

Viacom and YouTube are still in the midst of the lawsuit, with Viacom seeking $1.76 billion in damages. In 2010, a federal court ruled in favor of YouTube, but Viacom has appealed the ruling.

The company has also signed deals with The Walt Disney company, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and several independent studios, making over 9,000 films available to rent. “It’s still early days for us, and we’ll continue adding new titles and expanding our service to more countries this year,” Malik Ducard, Director of Content Partnerships at YouTube wrote in the blog post.

Paramount is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary.

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