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Disney, YouTube in movie deal

Studio makes titles available for rental

Walt Disney Studios has struck a deal with Google-owned YouTube to make its films available for rental on the website.

The pact includes hundreds of titles from Disney, DreamWorks and Pixar, including “Alice in Wonderland,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “Cars 2.”

YouTube relaunched its rental store in May with thousands of titles from Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures. But the Disney deal is the first significant addition to the store since the relaunch.

YouTube makes movies available on an a la carte basis from the aforementioned studios ranging from $1-4 depending on whether they are library titles or releases timed day and date with the home-video window.

The infusion of Disney content provides a reminder that YouTube intends to stay competitive with other digital rental providers including Apple’s iTunes, Amazon and Walmart-owned Vudu.

YouTube has yet to add TV titles to its rental store, which is available at YouTube.com/movies.

The rental deal is just the latest sign of increasing cooperation between the two companies. Disney and YouTube jointly announced earlier this month that the conglom would provide a co-branded channel with original programming that would reside both on YouTube and Disney.com.

Between the movies rental offerings and the recently announced bundle of over 100 channels featuring premium original content, YouTube has worked hard this year to reposition itself as more than just a home for amateur videos. The new additions are aimed at driving more advertising and subscription revenues, as well as bolstering its revamped Google TV offering.

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