Monday, May 9, 2011

YouTube adds Feature Films

YouTube will be expanding its professional produced offerings starting today, according to Salar Kamangar (head of YouTube ):

"Today, we're going to start adding around 3,000 new movie titles for rent available to users in the U.S. that will be accompanied by reviews and behind-the-scenes movie extras. Whether it's short movie trailers, funny movie parodies or full-length blockbuster films, we encourage you to sit back and settle in to the YouTube movies experience."

Apparently users are now racking up 2 billion views on YouTube per day, but they’re spending just 15 minutes a day on YouTube — compared to five hours a day watching TV. By adding long-form, professionally-produced content, the company hopes to stretch those times out.
"As the lines between online and offline continue to blur, we think that's going to change," Kamangar said.

A report last month by The Wall Street Journal suggested that Google planned to spend as much as $100 million to developer original content for its service, as well as redesigning the site to more clearly divide content up into channels that users could surf like TV channels.

Historically you’ve always had to look elsewhere — like iTunes and Netflix —for big-name movies and premium content. Now it looks like that’s starting to change: YouTube is adding around 3,000 new movie titles to its rental section, including ‘blockbuster films’. Although YouTube has offered movie rentals for over a year now, the selection hasn't had a broad appeal, consisting largely of indie flicks and older movies.

YouTube hasn’t yet announced which movies are being added, but this seems to confirm reports that the company has signed deals with multiple major Hollywood studios.