updated 03:15 pm EST, Mon December 20, 2010
Google gets Paramount's Ducard for movie service
Google has quietly picked up Paramount's senior VP of digital distribution Malik Ducard to bolster its YouTube movie service plans, insiders said today. His exact purpose wasn't mentioned, but he would likely be used to help land movie licensing deals and ensure a healthy supply for the rumored 2011 launch. Ducard wouldn't comment to paidContent but indirectly supported the claim by asking the site to speak to Google PR.
The role may be to supplement its hire from Netflix, Robert Kyncl, who is widely known to have been in place to negotiate movie rights. As an insider with the studio, Ducard would have more connections to the industry where Kyncl has primarily had experience on the outside. Google already has a rental service but has been limited almost exclusively to independent titles.
Part of the trust would also come from the acquisition of Widevine to implement a more rigorous form of copy protection.
The system when it goes live would primarily be to help monetize YouTube beyond just ads, but it's also commonly expected to serve as a cornerstone for its computer and mobile platforms. Android would get a more direct equivalent to iTunes, and both Chrome OS and Google TV would get a commercial platform that wouldn't require the local media sharing support they don't have and which wouldn't be blocked by studios.