YouTube just became Canada’s newest video rental store.
“Over time we’ll also be adding additional videos and features to YouTube Movie Extras so that you can get even more into movies on YouTube,” the company said.
The move to offer full-length films on top of the website’s mostly user generated content represents the latest in a series of recent efforts to rival other video streaming providers such as Netflix Inc. and Hulu. YouTube started streaming live events as of mid-April and acquired Irish video editing firm Green Parrot Pictures to improve the resolution of YouTube videos one month prior.
Internet users in the United States have had access to YouTube’s video rental service for more than a year, yet Canada could well represent an even more lucrative market.
Canadians watched an average of 251 online videos totaling 17 hours of content over the month of March alone, compared to just 204 online videos totaling 15 hours of content watched by the average American. The data, released by market research firm comScore Inc. in late April, found Canadians actually spend more time watching videos online than people in any other country.
Maybe it has something to do with our weather.