The best kept secret in online content for the past week has been Google’s launch of paid movie rentals via its Indian YouTube channel.
The news was first reported a few hours after the launch on March 28, 2013, by Real Time News, a “web-oriented news source” catering to Indian audiences.
The rentals seems to be only offered on a one-time basis so far; there’s no subscription billing. There’s also a higher price for “foreign” films, i.e., films made outside Indian. Most Indian films are priced between 50 and 70 rupees (a little over $1), while American films are priced between 120 and 490 rupees (between $3 and $10).
Films can also be “bought” for a higher price. Buying entails being able to save the movie in your Google account in order to watch it online through YouTube or through “previously authorized devices,” such as an Android-based smartphone or tablet.
YouTube launched movie sales to American audiences back in 2011, but has been slow in launching in the Indian market, despite the fact that India produces more feature-length films than any country in the world.