Full-Length Shows Now On YouTube | CBS Partners To Make YouTube More Like Hulu

1 min read

YouTube is evolving. It seems like not a day goes by when a new feature or revenue stream is added to the site. All of which is good for us, the viewers, but bad for the competition.

While YouTube has never really had a strong and comprehensive revenue model in place, it has always succeeded at one thing: drawing in the audience. Ask anyone about video on the Internet and you’ll only get one response.

YouTube Evolution

The last few months have seen post-roll adverts making their début, banner adverts on the YouTube homepage becoming standard, partnerships with various media companies, The ‘YouTube Screening Room’ being announced, and a whole host of other ventures.

The most recent was just a couple of days ago when YouTube started offering ‘Click To Buy’ affiliates on content such as music videos and clips of video games being played.

CBS Partnership

And now YouTube has done it again, this time partnering with CBS, a long-time channel owner on the site, to offer full-length episodes of various shows. This puts YouTube in direct competition with the likes of Hulu and Joost.

Full-length videos aren’t entirely new to YouTube, with the site having played host to documentaries and HBO specials before, but this CBS deal signals the beginning of entertainment programming being shown in its entirety on the site.

Programmes Available

To start with, only older shows will be getting aired on YouTube. Star Trek, The Young and the Restless, Beverly Hills 90210, Dexter, and MacGyver will all now be available to watch on the Google-owned Web video destination.

In the future, more recent shows could be added to the line-up, as well as shows from other content providers, assuming they haven’t already done an exclusive deal with Hulu.

Advertising & Theater View

The episodes will be ad-supported by pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll breaks, with CBS selling the advertising and giving YouTube a cut of the revenue.

YouTube has never been renowned for its quality, so to coincide with this deal, the company has also unveiled ‘Theater View’, a new player just for long form content, which plays the video in a higher quality 16:9 format.


At this stage, I doubt whether Hulu will be too worried about its new competition, but if this is, as expected, just the first of a series of deals Google makes to bring long form content to YouTube, then we could have a bit of a scrap on our hands.

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