Earlier this week YouTube announced that they’ve finally wrapped up a deal that will allow them to stream a large range of full-length movies and TV shows from Sony, Lionsgate, as well as other television networks and various indie movies.
The movies and episodes will come in a new section of YouTube, as ad-supported (but free) content. Some of the content initially included will be “Casino Royale,” CBS’ new series “Harper’s Island,” and even Morgan Surlock’s popular “Super Size Me.” Though, for the time being Sony’s content will simply be a link that leads users directly to their site, allowing Sony to collect traffic from their own video player.
Sadly, as Google admits, much of the content is at least a decade old. But, for the time being they’re looking towards making baby steps before they can fully compete with Hulu.
Google is currently exploring all possible methods of milking the Youtube cow despite having deemed revenues from the website to be immaterial during it Q1 filing.
It has now dawned upon Google that professionally made content is more lucrative to advertisers than amateur videos, and can help it recover the $1.65 billion Youtube acquisition costs. The search engine major’s enlightenment will greatly benefit Hollywood companies, who have been clamoring about the ease with which their interests are compromised on piracy hotbeds like Youtube.
Google knows that to monetize copyrighted movie and TV videos with advertisements it will have to legitimize their use first, which it plans to do with revenue sharing deals with major Hollywood studios. It recently struck a revenue sharing deal with Lionsgate and is in talks with other media companies, although very little is known at this stage.
Does it mean that Google will completely prevent users from uploading copyrighted content - something it has failed to do hitherto? Most probably that won’t be the case as it is currently working on a new technology that will help identify copyrighted content and allow its rightful owners to display ads next to it without the video being taken down.