Wednesday, November 26, 2008

YouTube - coming to a cinema near you


Interesting so now we have fully ad supported and officially sanctioned full lenght programming - YouTube would now also feature full-length television shows and films with ads running alongside the video.

YouTube - coming to a cinema near you

10/11/2008 - by Leila Makki, Telecom TV

After years of YouTube playing host to user-generated clips, the video portal is finally offering more officially sanctioned full-length programming, in a bid to compete directly against Hulu.

The popular video-sharing website has just made another pact to feature full-length television shows and films from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's (MGM) archives, with ads running alongside the video.

The site, owned by Google will kick off the partnership by posting episodes of "American Gladiators" programme to YouTube on one channel. MGM will also post full-length flicks like "Bulletproof Monk," "The Magnificent Seven" and clips from popular films like "Legally Blonde."

The Google unit is frightened about losing audiences that seek up-to-date full-length shows, to Hulu, an online hub founded by NBC Universal and Newscorp.

Hulu is lauded by networks for having a cleaner, more organised site to YouTube, as well as a lack of amateur-created videos. It currently has one of the most extensive libraries of advertising-supported mainstream media content on the web.

It's site owners, Fox and NBC, offers their own content as well as that of more than almost two dozen cable networks such as Bravo, E! Entertainment, FX, SciFi, USA, as well as Warner Brothers TV arm, the movie studio Lionsgate and sports programming.

Until recently, YouTube videos were predominantly short clips of ten minutes or less.

But the company has been experimenting recently with full-length shows with Time Warner's HBO and CBS's Showtime cable networks.

Last month, YouTube finalised a deal with US broadcast giant CBS to host complete episodes of shows from its massive TV archive. The CBS pact is based on an unspecified revenue share model, with CBS responsible for selling ads.

YouTube previously shied from insert ads on fears surfers would abandon the site rather than sit through video marketing just to watch a brief clip. But the advent of sanctioned streaming competition such as Hulu and a need to better monetise its operations has proven persuasive.

So far, the numbers speak for themselves; Hulu has about 100 million video streams a month, compared to YouTube's five billion videos.

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