Just when it looked like services such as iTunes and Netflix were going to define the online video rental business, along comes YouTube. With the Google-owned video site announcing a new, larger 1GB file size limit for its content partners, YouTube is pushing closer to offering feature-length films.
From the YouTube memo, posted on Silicon Alley Insider:
Long Form Content
You now will be able to upload and monetize videos in your account that are longer than 10 minutes. This feature is exclusively for partners. Independent Film makers that partner with us will now be able to upload their feature films on our site. Please note that for long form content, the maximum file size is 1GB.
1GB is not enough for a two-hour HD-quality movie, but plenty for a 60-90 minute standard definition video.
When first learning of the new limit, my reaction was "great, now we’ll have 60 minutes of bad karaoke, compared to the current 10 minute versions." Then, I made the connection.
Would you rather pay $2-5 to rent the latest blockbuster movie online, or would you rather put up with a few ads and get to watch it for free?
As long as YouTube chose ad formats that didn’t look like commercial-breaks–maybe "smoke" overlays or 90 seconds of ads before the movie–it could quite easily make enough money to keep movie producers happy, and YouTube users supplied with free films.
What do you think? Does YouTube have a different plan? Would you watch the latest blockbuster with ads, if it meant you watched for free?