YouTube is looking to charge viewers for the first time in the service's history. The number one video site on the web is currently in talks with a three major movie studios to start a video on demand model which would likely see feature releases available on a rental basis for around $3.99.

Some analysts have suggested that the company currently spends more money than it makes, with advertisers less keen to promote around the amateur videos that made the site popular and more enthusiastic about looking to endorse professional work.

So far, the studios approached have been Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers and, with the recent introduction of high quality streaming on YouTube and the rush for TV manufacturers to make panels supporting the service, it would seem a good time for them to start listening.