Paramount Movie Rentals Join Google Play4 Apr, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey, Erik Gruenwedel
Google-owned YouTube April 4 said it is adding 500 Paramount movies for transactional video-on-demand on Google Play as well as its website over the next several weeks, according to a blog post.
Movies include Oscar-nominated Hugo, The Adventures of Tin Tin, Captain America and catalog titles such as The Godfather and Coming to America, among others.
Google Play (formerly known as Android Market) allows users to buy or rent movies, music and books that can be downloaded to Android-based portable devices and the TV.
Paramount joins four major studios (with the exception of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), Lionsgate, The Weinstein Co., Magnolia Pictures and others that offer new releases and catalog titles for rent starting at $2.99 per catalog title and $3.99 for new release. Once rented, movies can be watched once for a 24-hour window over a 30-day period.
Google Play and YouTube now offer about 9,000 studio and independent titles for rent, according to Malik Ducard, director of content relationships with YouTube.
“Many of these movies are available today, and the rest will be added to YouTube and Google Play over the next few months,” Ducard wrote.
This agreement also covers electronic sellthrough similar to deals Paramount has with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Vudu.
“We want to provide consumers with access to our films on as many platforms and devices as possible,” said Amy Reinhard, EVP and GM of domestic home media distribution for Paramount Pictures. “Today’s agreement with Google further expands our ability to bring Paramount motion pictures to audiences in new and innovative ways.”
The deal comes despite Paramount parent company Viacom still pursuing a now six-year-old piracy suit against YouTube. Viacom filed the $1 billion suit in 2006, alleging YouTube allowed massive copyright infringement when users uploaded hundreds of thousands of Viacom-owned videos.
A federal judge in 2010 ruled that safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act protected YouTube from copyright violations alleged by Viacom. Viacom is appealing the ruling.