Google has been attempting to evolve YouTube in to a money-making domain for months, but the latest effort, which will see full-length feature films on the site, must be the biggest step so far.
Googe Maximizing YouTube’s Potential
Anyone who reads WebTVWire regularly will know that the last few months have been dominated by Google’s efforts to maximize YouTube’s potential and turn the impressive viewing figures in to equally impressive levels of profit.
It’s not like YouTube isn’t already making money, it is, but the figures don’t justify the $1.65 billion Google paid for the world’s favorite and most well known video sharing site. They also don’t stack up when compared to Hulu’s profits, even though that company is much younger and has much less traffic.
Then Google started making deals with other companies. The ‘YouTube Screening Room‘ made its debut, which sees independent films finding a home on YouTube. Lionsgate also decided to team up with the site but only short clips of movies would be included on YouTube.
YouTube then made a deal with CBS which saw shows such as Star Trek, The Young and the Restless, Beverly Hills 90210, Dexter, and MacGyver.
This particular deal put YouTube right in the firing line of Hulu, with the Google-owned site trying to mimic Hulu by offering full-length shows, a vast departure from the short clips YouTube was built on.
Now, according to CNET, full-length movies could also be on their way to YouTube, with Google seemingly negotiating with some of the biggest Hollywood studios to bring features to the site.
At least one company is thought to have already signed on the dotted line, and the first movies could appear on YouTube by the end of the year. There are thought to be some issues still to be overcome before this becomes reality.
The first is the question of advertising. The movies will have to be monetized in order to be worth YouTube and the movie studios while, but what form will they take, how many will there be during the course of a film, and who will determine the advertising deals?
Then there is the problem of DRM with Silicon Alley Insider bringing up the important question mark over concerning how YouTube videos are currently delivered to us the viewers. Will Hollywood really accept such piracy risks?
There’s no doubting now that YouTube is evolving, and fast. User-generated short form content is gradually being replaced by professional long form content which can be monetized to within an inch of its life.