updated 03:25 pm EST, Wed November 23, 2011
YouTube rentals get Disney and Pixar
Google's YouTube rentals saw the slightly unexpected addition of Disney movies on Wednesday. Both its live and animated movies, as well as Pixar's CG movies, are now available on the web- and Android-based store. Key rival DreamWorks is also making the leap.
The addition is unusual through Disney's tight connection to Apple, which included the late Steve Jobs' place on the Disney board of directors and Disney's CEO going to Apple's board. The movie studio isn't averse to supporting online services other than iTunes, but it would now be supplying movies to Apple's main competitor and the frequent target of Jobs' criticism. Pixar was co-founded with Jobs at the helm.
YouTube's rentals were primarily intended as a key step in filling out an Android ecosystem that didn't have direct, consistent parallels to iTunes outside of Android Market. Content deals like those with Disney and DreamWorks help it catch up in terms of content to stores like Apple's or Amazon's, many of which have already filled out their content.