YouTube launches movie rentals in Canada

Known simply as YouTube Movies, the service which launched in the U.S. earlier this year, is now ready for a Canadian audience.

Similar to other online rental options such as iTunes, YouTube Movies lets viewers choose from an ever-increasing catalog of titles ranging from new releases such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I and Battle Los Angeles to older favourites like Superman II and Roxanne.

Pricing for the rentals, which will be viewable for 24 to 48 hours (depending on the title), will start at $3.99 for older releases while the most current titles will cost $4.99. The rental period begins the first time you hit play.

YouTube, which will be competing with established powerhouse Netflix, has no plans at the moment to offer a subscription price plan for unlimited viewing.

Another challenge for YouTube Movies is a lack of integration with popular home entertainment devices like Sony’s PS3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii, all of which have embedded Netflix options to let users watch movies on their big screen TVs.

At launch, the only way to get YouTube Movies on your TV is to connect your computer to it, preferably with an HDMI cable. Auxiliary devices like D-Link’s Boxee Box and others that offer full web access might provide another alternative.

But viewers may be fine sticking with their PCs or small screen devices like iPads: for the moment, all YouTube Movie titles are in standard definition – roughly the same quality as a regular DVD.

The Canadian version of YouTube Movies will offer many more Canadian productions than its U.S. counterpart: Google has established partnerships with several distribution companies such as Alliance Films in order to differentiate themselves in the market while also making it less likely that CRTC will want to regulate them over a lack of Can Con as some journalists have suggested might happen to the nascent online video space.

To rent movies from YouTube, simply sign-up for a Google account (if you are already a Gmail user or are registered with one of their other products you can use that account) and provide the company with payment information in the form of a credit card.



  1. Pingback: Google launches Canadian online movie service – Globe and Mail
  2. Pip Pippin

    Oh goody, all those retread Canadian movies that cable movie channels show over and over and over and over again….you know the ones that no one went to see…can now be yours for 3.99.


  3. Nightrider

    That’s good news. But…… price is no different than paying Rogers. Only diff is it is online. Well, Rogers does that too. It is not on high def unless you hook up your computer and watch thru HDMI. OK, I can live with that. I will go for “Anything but Rogers”.

    Question is: Is it half-assed as Netflix in Canada or is it fully open and viewers have access to ALL movies? If yes, I will probably switch to Youtube movies.

    Now, if only they make the googleTV available in Canada, then we can kiss the price-gouging Rogers/Cogeco/Bell good bye. I am currently using the High-def antenna but not all channels are available.

    We have CRTC to thank for high prices.


  4. Robin

    Go to your local library where you can sign out dvds for 3 or 4 days for free! While you are there pick up a book or two, also for free!


  5. Ivan

    Yes compitition is a GREAT thing in our country Canada, keeps all the others in line. Good for U tube & Google .


  6. Allan McDougall

    Cable t.v. and satalite sucks!
    Any thing that gets rid of 20 min. + of ads mixed with 40 min. of old chopped up movies for only $120.00 per month is a blessing indeed. Good luck U-tube.


  7. Justin

    With new movies at 4.99 each, they are just trying to take money away from the local canadian cable providers and rental stores.
    They should try and actually compete with netflix with a next to nothing montly sub and near endless content, rather than selling new releases and filling their lesser desirable free content with ads.


  8. Amanda

    NetFlix is getting better every month and $7.99/month for unlimited movies beat $3.99/4.99 each movie ANY day…isn’t that what it use to cost at Blockbuster? Why would I want the hassle of having to hook up my computer to my TV for $4.99…seems fairly old-school?


  9. jean lachapelle

    everyone wants the comfort of staying home get the movies and than cool some tv channel should really juts go in non-stop movie distibutions and perhaps if your pc is hook on a 50 inch tv well if there is movies online for free or tv shows or not too expensive rentals than have fun but the good thing about dvd or blue ray is that you could rewatch a movie at any time and renting or buying at blockbusters you would get better quality than some movies online and was helping industry keep producing now the problem is that most movies in theater are online same day almost for free yes it is pirates but the movie industry is taking a hit and will have to adjust to this perhaps theater days are almost over and most movies will now be directly distributed on website for money but than again they would find a way to copy those movies and make them available so there is no real solution for movie business hope they wont stop producing movies one of these days because of non-profitable revenues , internet is good but change our world entertainements media ,audio,videos, for ever who will survives are those that makes the best of it that instead of fighting against the reality well adapt to it and still make the money that is the question for audio artists the way to keep making that money is the live shows for hollywood is to distribute the movies for the most money revenue possible so what could be unique has experience in theater that would make everyone run to the theater they really need to focus on this part perhaps if the bench you sit on now would moove with image and sound would improove and screen and you would get a really wow experience in theater than maybe everyone will go back even the outside cineparc needs a revamp since new technology is now available , the industry must not try to stop pirates wich is a waste of time and money cause pirates always finds a way to get what they want but instead focus on the quality experience a viewer can have by going to see that movie in theater instead of staying home and also is it me or seem hollywood is running out of idears for movies they are so boring lately with some exceptions but seem there is problems finding what to do to get the viewers attentions enough to say i will buy that movie, one movie out of ten is worth spending money to see and in music business well most don,t sing or play instruments they are (hiphop,rap, techno) stars that really make money on a image and remixing music creating sounds and most of the time lyrics are just sorry to say it like this but verry children made and verry not great just think lately there was a song that would go sometimes i put my hands in the air saying hey yo lalaleyo or many exemple of poor lyrics that seems catchy just because of the beat and they may not even sing in real concerts than wonder why fans are disapointed , the music are fastfood music that would be good for 5 years old all that contribute to the non-sucess of sales of mp 3 or cd unless the audiences are not verry picky when it goes down to music .