Over the last year, Google has been busy bolstering the number of films it offers for rent. It now has deals with five of the six major studios — the one holdout being Fox. It also has pacts with more than 10 indie studios, among them Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company.
Even though YouTube is increasingly becoming an important distribution channel for studios, the deal between Google and Paramount had one significant challenge. Viacom, Paramount's parent company, sued Google in 2006, seeking $1 billion in damages for copyright infringement of its shows and movies on YouTube.
Although a federal court judge sided with Google in 2010, Viacom is appealing the decision.
Paramount rentals will be available for 48 hours and will cost $3.99 for new releases and $2.99 for older movies.
High-definition versions will cost $4.99.
"Paramount Pictures is one of the biggest movies studios on the planet. We're thrilled to bring nearly 500 of their films to movie fans in the U.S. and Canada on YouTube and Google Play," Malik Ducard, director of content partnerships for YouTube, said in a statement.