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MGM movies coming to YouTube, Google Play

April 16, 2012 | 10:12 am

Robocop
Seeking to make more money from a library that still provides virtually all of the independent studio's revenue, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has signed a deal to rent more than 600 of its movies through Google's YouTube video site and its digital media store.

The partnership unveiled Monday covers more than 600 of MGM's best known titles, including "Rocky," "Terminator," "West Side Story," "Rain Man," "Robocop" and "Moonstruck." They will be available directly on YouTube or via Google Play, the tech giant's digital media store that offers movies, music, books and games to rent on the web and Android mobile devices.

Google already has similar movie rental deals with all of Hollywood's major studios, save 20th Century Fox, and 10 independents, including Relativity Media and Miramax. Typically, it charges $3.99 for new releases and $1.99 for older titles.

Though it is the leading player in online video-watching through YouTube, Google has a tiny share of the fast-growing but still nascent Internet video-on-demand business, which is dominated by Netflix and Apple's iTunes. The company is trying to grow its content collection, however, in order to better compete and make more revenue from online video.

MGM, meanwhile, wants to make its movies available as broadly as possible as it starts moving back into production under a new ownership and management team. Many of the titles it is offering through Google are already available to stream, rent or buy via Netflix and iTunes.

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-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Peter Weller in "Robocop 2." Credit: Orion Pictures

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