SAN FRANCISCO — Disney films were available for rent on YouTube on Wednesday in the latest bid by the Google-owned website to transform into an online stage for the gamut of digital video content.
The first of hundreds of films from Disney studios including Pixar and DreamWorks joined the array of Hollywood titles that can be viewed as streaming rentals at youtube.com/movies.
Movies available for rent include “Alice in Wonderland” and all four films in the blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, according to YouTube movies and television marketing manager Minjae Ormes.
“Even more of the great Disney classics and new releases will be added in weeks to come, including our YouTube Movie Extras with behind-the-scenes clips, interviews, and more,” Ormes promised in a blog post.
Earlier this month, YouTube and The Walt Disney Co. said they were teaming up to produce an original video series and feature “family-friendly” Disney programming on the popular video-sharing site.
Disney Interactive and YouTube said the programming will be available on Disney.com and on YouTube and the “complementary online video destinations” will launch in early 2012.
“Disney Interactive will produce and program the co-branded video destinations for bothDisney.com and YouTube, providing a family-friendly experience for viewers across both platforms,” Disney and YouTube said.
The programming will include original video from Disney, Disney Interactive original series, some Disney Channel programming and content created by Disney users.
The first project will launch in February and will be an original video series based on Disney’s mobile game “Where’s My Water?”
YouTube, which Google bought for $1.65 billion in 2006, has been gradually adding professional content in an effort to generate revenue and announced last month that it is adding about 100 channels of original programming.
YouTube remains the top online destination for amateur video, but it faces stiff competition when it comes to professional content from services such as Apple’s iTunes, Hulu and Netflix.