Bollywood is coming to YouTube in the form of the new release "Striker," which releases in theaters today in India and a few U.S. movie houses, and concurrently on YouTube. The movie is free to YouTube viewers outside of India, but U.S. users will be charged $4.99 to rent it. It's the first time a film has legally premiered on YouTube. Last month, "Johnny Tera Kya Hooga" was leaked on YouTube ahead of its scheduled release.
"This is a redefining moment," said Studio 18 director Hemant Bhardwaj told the BBC. "The success of this project will put wings to our films, which are rich in content but unable to find optimal distribution abroad because they don't feature the conventional stars."
Studio 18 is a part of Viacom18, a JV between Viacom Inc. and diversified broadcasting and media group Network18.
"Our goal at YouTube is to create a comprehensive destination for online video with a range of content, from user-generated clips to full-length shows and movies. We're particularly excited to have the premiere of 'Striker' on YouTube and available to Bollywood fans around the world," added YouTube head of partnerships Amit Agrawal.
- see this BBC article
YouTube's passage to India