updated 07:45 am EST, Mon November 10, 2008
MGM on YouTube
Movie studio MGM and YouTube today are set to announce a deal bringing the former's movies and TV shows to the web video portal. The deal is currently an experiment and will see MGM launch a handful of full-length and primarily action-oriented movies, such as Bulletproof Monk, as well as a limited range of TV that will initially be limited just to episodes of the original American Gladiators.
Extra content should be available soon but won't include a complete catalog at present due to YouTube's current formatting, according to MGM co-president Jim Packer. The Google-owned site is for now oriented more towards amateur videos and social networking aspects versus the almost exclusively video-oriented alternatives like Hulu.
Other studios, including Warner and Sony, are reportedly considering also signing on to the venture based on YouTube allusions to talks, but may be contingent on both the layout as well as the site's VideoID copyright filtering system, which more readily flags clips that are potentially violating copyright and lets studios either request a takedown or else put up targeted advertising. MGM's deal gives it permission to more actively search YouTube for allegedly infringing videos.
The deal is nonetheless a landmark for the site, which has held a few full-length videos in the past but has largely been limited to user-made clips at 10 minutes or less, which limits the duration and scope of advertising on the site and thus Google's profitability.
It also potentially gives owners of mobile devices with dedicated YouTube clients, such as the iPhone and the HTC Touch Diamond, a means of streaming legal full-length content outside of region-limited services such as the BBC's iPlayer. [via New York Times]