YouTube inks Disney film rental deal

YouTube, the video streaming arm of advertising giant Google, has announced a deal with Disney, everyone's favourite copyrighter of public domain works, to rent kiddie-friendly content over the service.

The deal, announced late yesterday, sees YouTube granted a licence to add Disney family films - including recent titles like Tron: Legacy, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and one or two titles that don't have a colon in them - to its existing video rental service, which recently rolled out to the UK.

"Check back in because even more of the great Disney classics and new releases will be added in weeks to come," promised YouTube marketing manager Minjae Ormes, "including our YouTube Movie Extras with behind-the-scenes clips, interviews and more."

The deal is far-reaching: as well as Disney films, material created by Disney-Pixar and DreamWorks Studios is also included in the mix, giving YouTube access to a massive back-catalogue of content suitable for the little 'uns.

Sadly, one company's gain is another's loss: Netflix, the US film rental giant with its eyes on the UK, will lose access to late-release Disney films this coming February, as an existing agreement with the Starz cable company comes to a close without renewal.

Google will be hoping that its deal with Disney turns its fortunes around: despite drastic streamlining measures that have seen dozens of projects axed over the past few months, its shares have been on the wane and have dropped four per cent so far this year.

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