Sunday, November 9, 2008

YouTube and MGM Forge Partnership to Post Full-Length TV and Films

Tomorrow, YouTube will announce a partnership with MGM to distribute full-length television shows and films says New York Times writers Brade Stone and Brooks Barnes. Under the new agreement with 84-year-old film studio episodes of “American Gladiators” along with full-length films like “Bulletproof Monk” and “The Magnificent Seven” and clips from popular movies like “Legally Blonde” will be posted on YouTube and be free to watch with Google ads running alongside the video. While the line up is somewhat limited and not that compelling it's clear that YouTube is after a larger share of the online video market to compete for advertising dollars with the popular online video site Hulu.

Read the NY Times story here: MGM to Post Full Movies and TV Shows to YouTube -

The article notes that YouTube is in the process of rebranding itself to lure studios who have avoided partnering YouTube and comaplain about their lax approach to copyight enforcement. James L. McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research, said “YouTube is essentially saying to media companies, ‘We are sorry for our past copyright stance; we weren’t thinking big enough. Let’s see how we can make some money together... "They have hundreds of millions of views,” he said, “and it will be very hard for studios to pass that up."

YouTube has introduced many new features of late including increasing uploads to 1 GB, Theater View which has been likened to Hulu's "lower lights" feature and Video ID which allows media companies to spot unauthorized clips of their content on the site and either remove it or leave them up and and sell ads on them. As part of the deal MGM will monitor the site using the Video

"We believe in comprehensiveness, and we want to have deals with everybody,” said Jordan Hoffner, the director of content partnerships for YouTube. “We want to be able to give users the most content possible.”

This partnership with MGM could be the first of many possible partneships with other studios. Hoffner hinted at other possible deals with Time Warner and Sony, a part owner of MGM.

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