London – Google’s (NASD:  GOOG) YouTube has been in talks for several
months with Hollywood movie studios on launching a streaming movie rentals
service by the end of the year, the Financial Times reported. Google is pitching an
"international" streaming service, sources told FT, where titles
would cost about $5 to rent.

The talks have reportedly "taken on greater
urgency in recent weeks," amid increasing competition in the space from
Apple (NASD:  AAPL), Netflix (NASD:  NFLX) and Hulu.

"Google and YouTube are a global phenomenon with
a hell of a lot of eyeballs — more than any cable or satellite service," one
executive with knowledge of the plans told FT.

"They’ve talked about how
many people they could steer to this … it’s a huge number."

Google has already experimented with film rentals on YouTube.

A partnership
with the Sundance Film Festival to stream titles from this year’s and last
year’s festival for $3.99 each reportedly generated a total of just 1,500 total


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(Financial Times)
(DMW previous coverage)