The buzz around the Web this week is that video streaming giant YouTube is in talks with movie studios to start renting movies in the near future. Even though YouTube isn't known so much for video quality as it is video quantity it could provide an exciting new ability to consumers.
If YouTube does start streaming movies it could provide an entirely new rental experience to consumers. A YouTube movie rental has the potential to be an experience which is spread across multiple devices regardless of manufacturer or operating system.
Think about it: YouTube is everywhere you have an Internet connection. You can watch YouTube videos on your cell phone, iPhone, Nintendo Wii, computer, the Playstation 3 and it's going to be standard on almost every Internet enabled TV to hit the market.
No other company can claim this kind of market share on devices and YouTube's movie rental business has the potential to change the digital rental game by giving consumers more freedom to watch movies where they want on whatever device they want.
Competing services like Netflix's Xbox 360 integration, Apple's iPhone / Apple TV integration and Amazon's Tivo integration will have trouble competing with the freedom of choice and portability that YouTube could bring to market.
If the deals go through and YouTube is able to enter the streaming movie rental market you might just be able to start watching your next movie rental on your cell phone, pick up where you left off on your Nintendo Wii and then finish it in bed on your iPod Touch all for one rental fee.