These are early days and in the coming weeks we’ll also invite a small group of partners across other industries, in addition to independent film, to participate in this new option. Anything that brings more content to the YouTube community is a good thing. And making content available for rent will give our partners unprecedented control over the distribution of their work — they can decide the price of their videos and the rental duration; they can decide when and where their content is available; and they can keep 100% of their rights.
According to the YouTube blog, YouTube has partnered with the Sundance Film Festival to make five films from the 2010 and 2009 festivals available for rent for U.S. users on YouTube starting this Friday and running through Sunday, January 31.
The videos will cost around $5 but the exact price will be set by individual filmmakers. Coverage from USA Today mentions that YouTube will split revenues, but will give the lion’s share to the filmmaker.