Google launches Canadian online movie service to compete with Netflix

Google is going head-to-head with Netflix in Canada by launching a YouTube-based movie rental service. Known simply as YouTube Movies, the service which launched in the US earlier this year, is now ready for a Canadian audience.

The service allows users to rent new and classic movies for about $3.99 or $4.99. Users will have 30 days from the moment they rent a movie to begin watching it, and 48 hours to finish.

YouTube Movies will compete directly with Netflix, which offers Canadians unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows for a flat monthly subscription of about $8.

In order to avoid the wrath of the CRTC, the Canadian version of YouTube Movies will offer many more Canadian productions than its US counterpart. Google has established partnerships with several distribution companies such as Alliance Films in order to differentiate themselves in the market while also making it less likely that CRTC will want to regulate them over a lack of Canadian content.

Google’s announcement comes just one day after Blockbuster Canada announced it’s closing its remaining movie rental outlets.

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