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YouTube Movies & Shows Free Review: How can I watch for free? (Updated 2022)

Many people streaming YouTube movies on their computer or other devices prefer it to other popular streaming options like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. YouTube movies are available for rent or purchase and tend to operate in the VOD genre with Vudu as the main competitor. YouTube movies are not typically a competing option for more mainstream streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, since they require a subscription instead of using an ad-based model.

Youtube Movies & Shows

Nicole Sommer
Last updated: Monday, 02.October 2023
Author Biography
Hello. My name is Nicole Sommer. I am a big soccer enthusiast and do a lot of reserach around the easiest way to watch soccer on TV and online across the whole globe.
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YouTube movies and shows are part of YouTube's streaming network. It's much similar to Vudu in operation where you can either rent or buy a movie or particular episode of a TV Show. Unlike YouTube TV, YouTube movies and shows offer the freedom to buy or rent the content you like instead of subscribing to its services.
I've bought over a dozen movies on YouTube, including titles such as "Avengers: Endgame," "Pete's Dragon," "Goosebumps," "The Big Sick," "Anabelle Creation," "Rampage" and a Bollywood classic "Rockstar."
If you've read my Vudu review, you would already know that I'm a big fan of the video-on-demand model. These mediums aren't cord-cutting alternatives, but they do make interesting content available which can be rented or bought without any commitment. I'm quite neutral about YouTube's movies and shows because there's nothing overly positive or negative to share with you.

Sense of Familiarity

Most people spend around two to three hours streaming podcasts, watching viral videos, music covers, movie trailers, and content uploaded by favorite YouTube channels. Most of us are used to YouTube's interface and this service is nothing but a separate channel with nearly 97.2 million subscribers. You can find almost all types of movies from around the world in different languages. Before we talk about its history, I want to clear something up.

Difference between YouTube Services

YouTube Movie Rental Service is not like YouTubeTV or YouTube Premium. The latter is a paid subscription streaming service, while the former is a VOD model where there is no monthly or yearly fee and no contract like in majority of the Cable TV, Satellite TV, or streaming subscription networks.


Did you know that YouTube was founded by three Paypal employees? Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim? They were the brains behind YouTube. Also, did you know that YouTube established a partnership with NBC before Google acquired it? Crazy right? Within a year of its launch, YouTube was one of the world's fastest-growing sites, hosting more than 65,000 new videos. The site averaged 20 million visitors per month and raked around 100 million video views per video in July 2006 which made it world's fifth-most popular website.
Finally, in October 2006, YouTube was acquired by Google for $1.65 billion. At the time, this made it Google's second-largest acquisition. However, the acquisition was not simple - YouTube operated independently with its co-founders working with 68 Google Employees.
Since its establishment, YouTube has broken streaming records and played a vital role in defining the social media sphere generally referred to as the Big Six. Its movie rentals business alongside ventures such as 'Premium Service', 'Originals', 'YouTubeTV' and 'YouTube for Kids' have all been active recently.


If you are familiar with YouTube, you are already familiar with its rental service. The moment you click on Movies and Shows, you land on a page with a reel icon supported with text "Movies and Shows?" and a byline "Watch the latest and greatest hits?". Its grey and black color scheme is something we are quite used to and thus there is neither an oomph factor nor any kind of dissatisfaction towards it.
Staff - Filming Locations When you click on any specific title in the YouTube Video window, the window opens up and starts playing the trailer. The Title is under the video in white color, followed by its upload date on the left and engagement parameters on the right. Every Movie or TV show that you find on YouTube will have a description capturing these details: Synopsis, Provider, Rating, Release Date, Running Time, Language, Actors, Director, Producer, Genres and Support Staff. The Filming Locations section will list where the movie or show was filmed.
Below the movie's description, you'll find a comment section. In it, you can comment on the movie and interact with other viewers. On the right-hand side, you'll find a Rent or Buy Button. When you click on it, you'll get the option to Buy or Rent the movie in SD or HD quality.
YouTube rental service's interface is good-looking and straightforward. YouTube's excellent machine learning ensures that you get tailor-made content. So, while there is a lot of recommended movies and shows, it does know what you might like or dislike based upon your viewing preference. For instance, I happen to be a big fan of Kumail Nanjiani and I often watch his videos, thus ?Big Sick? is the first option I saw. This observation is personal though. I'm not claiming that it has been proven.


YouTube's paid movie rental service offers all of the latest movies, like 2019's best ones like Avengers Infinity War and A Star is Born. These movies are available in either SD or HD quality, depending on your internet speed. YouTube also has 4K content, but suggests that you have a faster internet speed to watch it.
When you visit the YouTube movies and shows page, you can find well-curated playlists such as its own recommendation, New Releases, Top-Sellers, and various genres. These playlists feature Drama, Comedy, Documentaries, Thriller, Family, Music, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense, Crime, World Cinemas, Classics and more.

Desktop/Mobile experience

YouTube will ask you if you want to sign up for a Google account if you haven't already. If you have your Gmail account, it will automatically help you complete the payment process. Watching a rental movie on YouTube is just like watching any other video. There's nothing special about it.
You can cast your movies onto your TV via Chromecast. This means you can watch them on your Smart TV, but that's not all - there are many advantages to watching movies or shows via YouTube paid or rental service: for instance, it supports most PC web browsers, you can watch them on the YouTube app on Android or iOS phones, and they work with gaming consoles such as PS3, PS4, Xbox and Xbox One. Chromecast also works with Apple TV and Roku TV.
If you keep the video quality on Auto, YouTube will generally nail down the video quality based on your internet connection. Most of the movies available can only be streamed up to a max quality of 720p. When you click on Rent or Buy option, you'll only get to purchase the content at two available resolutions: SD (480p) or HD (720p). Most of our viewing experience takes place at 720p.

Seamless Refund Experience

I usually rent movies from the store, but I found out that streaming isn't as good as I thought it was. My initial experiences were disappointing because my first rented stream stopped after the first thirty minutes and then directly jumped to the end. After Google fixed the bug, my second rental experience was even worse because my stream only played for less than ten minutes. I asked for a refund and the process was very smooth.
- Fill out the form - Click Submit - You will receive a refund in your account within a week. Just so you know, if you run into any trouble streaming recently, I've got a few tips to help you out. For starters, head on over to the Account tab and click on Purchases. On the Report a Problem form, just fill out the necessary info and click Submit. You should receive your refund within a week!
I am having some issues with my account. Can you help me out?

Plans & Pricing

YouTube offers a variety of movie and TV rental and purchase options that vary between $2.99 and $19.99. Some movies and shows might cost less whereas others can cost more. When renting, you can rent for a period of up to 24-48 hours. Once you hit play, the rental timer begins ticking. Some movies even allow a 30-day window, so it all depends upon the terms agreed between the content publisher and YouTube.

Suggestions I have for YouTube

My suggestions for YouTube with regards to its paid/rental service would be similar to Amazon Prime Video. Just get an independent platform where you can run this as your subsidiary product. Maybe rebrand it a little. Though the channel has nearly 100 million subscribers, literally no one seems interested in buying or renting movies. And that's because of the lack of proper promotion and advertising.


At the start of our conversation, I suggested there wasn't much to discuss about this service. It's there, but it's not making much noise or having a substantial impact. It's similar to Vudu in its operation, except for YouTube if it wants can really make it stand out. I understand that YouTube's primary focus is on YouTubeTV and YouTube Originals, but VOD shouldn't be undermined especially for demographics who watch movies occasionally.
Nicole Sommer
Nicole Sommer is a true soccer fan and loyal supporter of FC Arsenal and 1.FC Köln. She plays actively her self as central forward in the women's aquad of TuS Köln in Germany. In her spare time she spends a lot of time online including researching the soccer streaming space. Her research has been published in several online soccer magazines.
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Youtube Movies & Shows

YouTube Movies & Shows Free Review: How can I watch for free? (Updated 2022).

Many people streaming YouTube movies on their computer or other devices prefer it to other popular streaming options like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. YouTube movies are available for rent or purchase and tend to operate in the VOD genre with Vudu as the main competitor. YouTube movies are not typically a competing option for more mainstream streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, since they require a subscription instead of using an ad-based model.

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