CNET's Greg Sandoval, full-length movies might be coming to YouTube in the near future. According to Sandoval, who bases his report on "two execs with knowledge of the negotiations," Google has been in negotiations with major Hollywood film companies for quite a while now. These movies would be monetized through ads, though it isn't clear if these would be standard pre- or post-roll ads, or if Google is planning to roll out a new ad format for these movies.According to
It is, of course, no secret that Google is having a very hard time monetizing YouTube. While it is one of Google's most successful acquisitions in terms of its userbase (more people now perform searches on YouTube than on Yahoo), it has at best been a loss leader for Google so far.
As Sandoval also points out, the video quality on YouTube falls short when compared to some of Google's competitors like Vimeo or services which already specialize in streaming TV shows and movies like Hulu or Joost. Also, the success of this venture would greatly depend on the movie selection.
It is also interesting that YouTube would be trying to woo the film industry. After all, Google has had a rocky relationship with the movie industry for years and has been regularly sued because of film and TV clips its users shared on the service. However, having premium, licensed content on YouTube would allow Google to circumvent the potential copyright issues which have kept it from rolling out advertising on a wider scale so far.
One option for Google would also be to buy a blanket license from the studios that would give its users a safe harbor for sharing clips from these studies, while allowing Google to sell advertising against it.
Would You Watch Movies on YouTube?
It's also worth noting that most users only watch relatively short video clips online. So while there is a potential market for the film industry and Google here, it would seem that monetizing this content won't be easy on YouTube.