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YouTube signs deal with Hollywood studios to show TV episodes, movies

New York, Apr.17 (ANI): In another step in its transformation from an online jumble of amateur videos to a destination for mainstream TV programs and movies, YouTube said Thursday that it had signed deals with Hollywood studios to showcase thousands of TV episodes and hundreds of movies on its Web site.

Google, which owns YouTube, said it might eventually bring another innovation to the site: payment for some premium content.

According to the New York Times, the agreements with the studios, which include Sony, Lions Gate, MGM and others, are significant because YouTube dominates online video.

Nearly two-thirds of all video views in the United States occur on YouTube, according to the measurement firm Nielsen. Last month the site had more than 90 million visitors, 10 times as many as the next biggest site, comScore said.

But while YouTube, along with other new media properties like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, is seen as leading the challenge against traditional media companies, the company itself is struggling to profit from its digital popularity.

This month, Credit Suisse published a detailed analysis of YouTube’s business, estimating that the site will lose approximately 470 million dollars in 2009, as the costs of bandwidth and storage to stream more than 5 billion clips a month far exceed the revenue YouTube earns from advertising.

To attract more advertising, YouTube is striving to add more professionally produced video. The pacts with media companies allow YouTube to place ads before, during and alongside the videos and split the revenue with its partners.

YouTube probably won’t be adding videos from NBC or Fox anytime soon. With its new partners, it will feature full episodes of one current CBS show (the drama “Harper’s Island”) and will offer a large library of classic content, including the series “The Addams Family” and the film “Carrie.” While the selections may seem meager, YouTube says it believes the new section will lay a foundation for more content partners. (ANI)

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