YouTube is to offer movies to rent - but it's not a move to challenge the online rental market just yet - it's a limited selection brought about as part of its sponsorship of the Sundance Film Festival.

"While YouTube has offered an easy and economical way for filmmakers - as well as content creators of all kinds - to instantaneously connect with fans around the world, many of them have told us that the ad-supported business model doesn't always meet their distribution and monetization needs", says YouTube in a blog post.

"And so, we are excited today to announce our partnership with the Sundance Film Festival to make five films from the 2010 and 2009 festivals available for rent for US users on YouTube starting this Friday and running through Sunday, January 31".

In addition to the five films, YouTube promises "a small collection of rental videos from other US partners across different industries, including health and education, will be made available in the weeks ahead".

There's no news of a rollout to other countries.