REUTERS - Alphabet Inc's YouTube is aiming to get rights for streaming TV series and movies for its $9.99-a-month subscription service as it tries to step up competition against rivals such as Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Journal reported that executives of the company have met with Hollywood studios and other production companies in recent months to consider pitches and negotiate licenses for new content. (http://on.wsj.com/1l9EMPk)
YouTube is eager to secure these rights and is focusing on new material. It is however not clear which TV series or movies the company is pursuing, WSJ reported.
YouTube is still deciding how much content to license, but it wants to have a strong collection of original programming and licensed programming in 2016 and beyond, WSJ reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The company is using existing relationships of Google Play with movie studios and other premium video content owners to negotiate streaming deals, WSJ reported.
Former programming chief of MTV Susanne Daniels and Kelly Merryman, a former Netflix content executive, are involved in these talks, the newspaper said.
The service, which is called YouTube Red, could be host to exclusively streaming these contents. The shows or movies could also be also released through traditional channels like movie theaters, cable networks and DVDs alongside YouTube Red, the person added.
YouTube was not available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.
YouTube Red, which was launched in October, allows viewers to watch videos from across the site without interruption from advertisements.
(Reporting by Shivam Srivastava in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)