Well, apparently full length films are coming to YouTube a bit sooner than the end of the year: YouTube and MGM announced today a partnership to show MGM’s full length movies and television shows on the most popular video site on the web.
But will these just be their straight-to-video or B-movies, or popular blockbusters? New hits or old favorites? A mixture, it sounds like, as the NYT reports:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios will kick off the partnership by posting episodes of its decade-old “American Gladiators” program to YouTube, along with full-length action films like “Bulletproof Monk” and “The Magnificent Seven” and clips from popular movies like “Legally Blonde.” These will be free to watch, with ads running alongside the video.
However MGM Co-President (what?) Jim Packer said the studio will start slowly on YouTube&mdash, but that he didn’t foresee a significant part of the studio catalog on YouTube anytime soon.
As part of the deal, YouTube and MGM will collaborate in identifying copyright clips from the studio’s movies and shows. Additionally, the Times gives us a little peek at YouTube content identification system:
YouTube has also developed a system called VideoID. It allows media companies to spot unauthorized clips of their material on the site, and then either remove the clips or leave them up and sell ads on them. As part of its deal, MGM will begin scouring YouTube for studio clips, from properties like the James Bond and Rocky franchises, and pulling many of them from the site.
But MGM will also work with YouTube to choose which clips can remain online, supported by advertising.
Sounds similar to the Auditude software and deal MTV & MySpace Video recently announced.
The NYT looks at other studios that might consider similar partnerships, including Time Warner and MGM’s parent company, Sony. However, YouTube has more than pirated content keeping these companies away:
Many Hollywood executives complain that YouTubeâ€™s online presentation is too cluttered. They also say they are more comfortable with the cleaner, better organized Hulu, which does not have amateur-created videos and which sprang from their own ranks. Hulu had 6.3 million visitors in September, according to Nielsen, and has more than 100 sponsors trying out creative forms of advertising, like interactive games.
YouTube, the most popular video site on the Internet, is playing catch up to a one-year-old, corporate-created site. Will the MGM deal be enough to change that?