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YouTube’s new movie rentals signal Google’s development from a humble search engine into a media lifestyle company and ultimately, an integral life-tool. When do you not use a Google product? When you log onto your computer in the morning, first thing is to check Gmail. Someone might send you a funny video on YouTube. Where was that meeting again? Look it up on Google Maps. But before the meeting the client needs the presentation, so you send it as an e-mail attachment via Google Docs. At lunch, you have time to call your daughter to make sure she is feeling better, using your Android. Has she gotten the flu? You check Google Flu Trends to see if there’s an outbreak in your area… Google’s new move to offer online rentals through YouTube is now saving you a trip to the movie store. YouTube has partnered with the Sundance Festival to offer 5 films to rent for $3.99 each for 48 hours. The offer will run from Jan 21-31, after which YouTube will expand its rental content offerings through partnerships in education and health. The once small search engine has completely and seamlessly integrated itself into our digital and offline lives. We will discuss how Google has developed into a media lifestyle brand and delve into the nuts and bolts of how it’s monetizing its assets to leverage these extensions. Google’s Monetization Experiments With the expansion of its product portfolio, Google has diversified its revenue streams. Google’s new move to monetize YouTube’s online videos through rentals might signal deeper issues regarding banner advertising. YouTube hints at the challenges of the traditional ad-based revenue model, "[film-makers] have told us that the ad-supported business model doesn’t always meet their distribution and monetization needs," states YouTube in it’s blog. While YouTube’s new monetization effort is a nod to the financial difficulties for indie film-makers, ultimately Google is building a platform for future revenue opportunities. Google has experimented with several revenue models lately. The rumor-mill began swirling about Google’s attempts to implement banner advertising in Google Maps. Might this signal a...

To read more about YouTube and movie rentals, go to Sparxoo, a digital marketing, branding and business development blog.