Is YouTube planning movie-streaming service for Europe?

25 Feb 2011

YouTube is understood to be planning an unlimited subscription service for movies that it will launch in Europe – beginning with the UK – before taking on the US and services like Netflix.

According to a report in the New York Post, YouTube has been in negotiations with Hollywood movie studios about a service that would launch initially in the UK, spreading to the rest of Europe and then taking on established streaming players like and Netflix.

YouTube’s parent company, Google, is understood to have set aside a warchest of US$100m for striking content deals with studios. The strategy is being led by ex-Netflix exec Robert Kyncl.

Deals with Hollywood

As it stands, YouTube has so far brokered no deals with studios and it is still locked in a legal war with Viacom.

So far, YouTube has brokered limited deals to run full-length movie content on its site and is keen to transform itself into a fully-fledged entertainment hub.

In December, YouTube acquired WideVine, which specialises in digital rights management (DRM), and counts Netflix and Blockbuster among its customers.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years