YouTube quietly launched its YouTube Store video rental service last week, offering a new way to watch high quality, high def videos online.
Earlier this year, YouTube kicked off its rental service with videos from the Sundance film festival, allowing users to rent independent films. It had a slow start, but YouTube kept the service alive, building up the service with niche content providers.
Now the YouTube video rental service has expanded and is offering 2 day rentals for anywhere between $1 - $4, although a few titles cost more than that.
Some of the YouTube Store titles include flicks like Resevoir Dogs; Pi; Kids; and Metropia, a Tribeca Film Festival selection. This is definitely not your average Blockbuster video type of experience.
The other cool part of the equation is that any independent film creator can make their film or video available. Budding auteurs and directors take note: you can follow the music industry's model of self-promotion and distribution. This gives the YouTube store a distinct advantage over Netflix, Amazon or iTunes.
The videos are also available in high def, so any watching experience can be high quality. This was probably part of YouTube's grand vision when they made their high def (HD) videos even more high def late last year, with the announcement that they were upgrading from 720p to 1080p.
One of the most interesting parts of the service is the use of YouTube channels, similar to the regular YouTube video channels. You can subscribe and get videos flowed right to your YouTube Store home page, surfacing the types of films you lik.