A movie buff investigates YouTube Movies

By: Mark Orton

March 23, 2012

YouTube Movies charges as little as $3.99

By Mark Orton

As the video store continues to fade from the landscape and into history, the only alternative to buying DVDs is to view them or rent them online. The technology for sourcing and viewing online video is rapidly advancing.

For Canadians who want to get their movies online, the main choices are to rent DVDs from Zip.ca, or to view them on Netflix or Youtube.

I reviewed Zip.ca for WhatsYourTech.ca and after the initial free month stuck with it for several months after that. Unfortunately my reservations at the time concerning a lack of new releases being shipped did not improve with time. After waiting for five months for new releases I had selected in August, I pulled the plug on the service. If you are looking for a dependable supply of movies it’s a great service as others are for older movies but not necessarily for new ones if you are anxious to see them within a reasonable time.

After having read the reviews done by Tim Teatro concerning Netflix I gave it a shot and signed up for the free month. Instant access is impressive and the monthly cost of $8 is a bargain if you are looking again for older movies and series. While Netflix is adding to its inventory it still lacks when it comes to new releases. So the month came and went and I chose not to continue with the subscription.


Zip.ca: a great service if you want a dependable supply

The quest continues and YouTube Movies is my next experiment. It’s been about 10 months since Google launched the service in Canada. It continues to grow in all categories including new releases and offers consumers more choice every day. In addition it continues to ink agreements with more studios for content. Older movies go for $3.99 each while new releases are $4.99 similar to the pricing found at remaining video rental stores in the marketplace. YouTube also offers some of its movies in HD at a price of $5.99 each. Rental terms are fairly flexible. You have 30 days from the time you rent a movie to begin watching it, and up to 48 hours to finish so when something unexpectedly occurs while you are in the midst of a movie, you don’t have to worry about losing the window of opportunity for viewing. To enjoy the benefits offered by the service you only need a computer, tablet or other internet connected device, a free You Tube account and a credit card.

While YouTube Movies is designed to compete against the likes of Netflix, price remains a hurdle. Netflix’s low monthly fee is a bargain compared to YouTube’s pricing structure. Unlike other services You Tube doesn’t provide a free month of access. But with a massive inventory of content available many older smaller budget films are free to view and will give you an opportunity to sample the system.


Netflix: impressive service and the monthly cost is a bargain.

If you like to watch a lot of movies and television series a low monthly fee service may be your best option. You don’t have to worry about running up the bill and you don’t feel pressured to make sure you get value for the dollars being spent. If you fall on the other side of the equation and enjoy a movie now and again, YouTube Movies is worth considering. Much like going to a video store (if you still have access to one) I personally like the ability to choose and pay a la carte. I’m not obligated to a monthly fee and don’t have to justify paying it if I don’t watch a lot of movies or series during that timeframe. And when the urge to watch something hits, you have instant access to the service on your Internet connected device.



  1. alex@newpathconsulting.com'

    The Zip.ca kiosks in several supermarkets are great way to get Video for $1 per night. Bluray too — they have a terrific selection and no due date. Along with iTunes and a good NAS from synology and an AppleTV with firecore.com addons, you’re basically good to go. Most of the streaming services offer a back catalogue that is not refreshed nearly enough to warrant watching it. At least if netflix offered popular kids shows and documentaries which got refreshed all the time, but they don’t. And agreed on zip.ca — it was horrible getting movies WAY down on my queue and never getting stuff at the top. Never sure how they did that. If my queue was really short would I then get the movies I wanted? Never waiting to try it out.

  2. wilburforce@mac.com'

    Really… “For Canadians who want to get their movies online, the main choices are to rent DVDs from Zip.ca, or to view them on Netflix or Youtube.”

    I hear that iTunes has a pretty hot selection too! Between Netflix and iTunes I do not need any other choices. Not yet anyway.

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