Tarun Reflex

November 11, 2008

Better Late Than Never: MGM, CBS Join YouTube

YouTube, the video sharing Website owned by Google, is preparing for an influx of new content to be uploaded to the site by the Hollywood studio MGM.
MGM will upload archived television programs and movies to the video sharing Website in hopes of increasing exposure and generating revenue through ads on the video.
It seems that Google and YouTube — which, for a long time, wasn’t a friend to major studios due to the proliferation of pirated video on the site — has mended fences with copyright holders who want to take advantage of the breadth and scope of the video sharing Website.
Now, instead of fighting the YouTube phenomenon, MGM has agreed to provide video for free to YouTube users and will serve ads to turn a profit.
In addition to MGM signing with YouTube, CBS formed a deal with the video sharing site in October. The agreement between YouTube and CBS kicks off with the television station adding old, archived episodes of “Star Trek,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and the “Young And The Restless.”
The MGM YouTube Channel will kick off by posting old episodes of pre-Hulk Hogan “American Gladiators.” In short order, MGM expects to add another channel to its YouTube presence where it will start uploading full length feature films, starting with movies like “The Magnificent Seven,” “Bulletproof Monk” and “Legally Blonde.”
Both the CBS and YouTube channels will serve ads to viewers while the movies and television shows are being played. It’s a good move by both companies — who are clearly following in the footsteps of News Corps’ and GE’s NBC Universal’s site Hulu.
Hulu features up to date video from News Corps Fox stations and NBC’s Universal programming. Over the course of a half an hour television program, between three and four breaks are taken from the show and viewers are shown one ad at a time, with the breaks never being longer than 30 seconds.
Earlier this year, Hulu raised its profile by broadcasting the Presidential elections between Barack Obama and John McCain live.
Ultimately, MGM and CBS are coming to the Web video party late. Watching television, movies and video online has been going on for a while now, and the technology continues to get better. A site like Hulu has proven that as long as the content is of a good quality, users will put up with short ads.
At this point, one has to wonder what it is costing a company like NBC. Chances are good the video is already in a digital format and can be easily uploaded. Then it’s a matter of maintaining the servers and infrastructure needed to keep the Web site running. With ads being served, it seems like there’s almost nothing but profit to be made.
Kind of makes you wonder why MGM and CBS waited so long.
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  • Google’s G1 Android phone – 1.5 Million Pre-Orders
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  • All About Google (All posts tagged with Google in my Blogs)
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