The news is all over the place that YouTube is in talks with several studios, including Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Sony Corp., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. about charging for movie rentals on YouTube.
If this works, will this mean the infrastructure will finally be in place to start charging for streaming video of TV shows? None of the studios involved in this deal are tied to TV networks (other than Warner and CW), but they do own TV shows. Lions Gate could start by giving access to Weeds, Nurse Jackie and Mad Men, shows that are not available on any legal streaming site. Sony could offer Breaking Bad.
If we are going to end up paying for streams of TV shows, this looks like the best chance of it happening in the near future. I’m not convinced that this will work in any case, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.