The most popular video site on the web, YouTube has long been in negotiations with movie studios to stream full-length feature films. And while there are still a lot of details to be hammered out, sources say that the deal could be complete in thirty to ninety days, according to CNET reports today.
Among the major sticking points, as with everything else on YouTube, is finding the right way to monetize full-length films. According to two studio sources, YouTube parent Google is insistent upon one particular form, though they didn’t say whether that was preroll, postroll or overlays. And of course, there’s still the issue of balancing enough advertising to make it worthwhile to the site and the studio without driving away the viewers.
And here’s something I never thought I’d say: YouTube’s major competition in this area will come from none other than Hulu. Hulu has
totally pwned come to dominate the long-form video market online, with high quality streaming. As CNET points out:
A showdown between Hulu and the 3-year-old YouTube was inevitable. Consider that Hulu, the joint video venture formed by NBC Universal and News Corp., attracts only a fraction of the 80 million people who visit YouTube each month, but Hulu still managed to generate nearly the same revenue in its first year in business, according to reports.
Naturally, that strength for YouTube—audience size—is a big reason why the studios have turned to YouTube instead of Hulu.
There is a little bit of precedent for the YouTube deals as well. In July, YouTube announced a partnership with Canadian film company Lionsgate. This partnership yielded film previews from Lionsgate with links to purchase the full-length film for download.
What do you think—will YouTube become the long-form streaming video destination, will they split the market with Hulu, or will the deal never materialize?