Full Length Films Coming to YouTube
YouTube on Thursday announced a deal with multiple studios, including Sony and Lionsgate, that will seed the site with full-length, ad-supported library films and TV episodes.
Details are still emerging, but essentially YouTube users who click on a film will be redirected to sites controlled by the studios, which will be able to serve their ads to, and collect traffic from, their own video player.
The films — which will include such newer releases as “Casino Royale” and “Super Size Me” and older titles such as “Single White Female,” “Drugstore Cowboy” and “Slacker” — will be promoted on YouTube in designated areas for premium entertainment.
Unlike their television counterparts, studios have by and large been hesitant to provide full-length features for free via Web sites. MGM is one of the few studios to offer full-length movies, which it does via its own channel on YouTube.
Partners for TV shows – including “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Star Trek,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “MacGyver” and “Jericho” – are Crackle/Sony Pictures, CBS, MGM, Lionsgate, Starz, Anime Network, Cinetic Rights Management, Current TV, Discovery, Documentary Channel, First Look Studios, IndieFlix, National Geographic.
Thursday’s deal reflects YouTube’s increasing aggressiveness in attracting more advertising revenue through premium content but with enough copyright protection to make the studios comfortable.
The news comes on the heels of a breakthrough pact YouTube announced with Disney to get shortform excerpts of content from ABC and ESPN. [thr]