Thursday, June 19, 2008

Will YouTube Start Hosting TV Shows and Movies?

On Monday, I wrote:
I've been wondering if/when television shows would start allowing people to embed their programs into blogs. If this takes off, other shows are sure to follow suit. From a business stand point, it makes perfect sense -- the episodes include commercials and are a nearly costless way for them to expand their audience. It's great for fans of the shows too. It's win-win and a great way to share shows you enjoy.
Almost as if on cue, YouTube is preparing to deliver longer videos:
The Web's top video-sharing site now appears to be preparing to make such a move. YouTube has begun experimenting with delivering longer videos than the typical 10-minute clips allowed on the site, Fortune magazine reported Wednesday. On YouTube now are several full-length documentaries and TV shows.
I was wondering why YouTube didn't negotiate with studios to provide television shows (you can now watch recent episodes of many shows online)? This may be part of the answer:

On YouTube is copyright content that the company can't sell ads against or else risk losing its protection from lawsuits under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protects hosting sites and ISPs from being held responsible for illegal acts committed by users.

That brings us to whether YouTube can acquire the rights from networks and studios that have long accused the company of failing to protect copyright.

This is where I think there will be little problem for YouTube. While it has been criticized for dragging its feet on providing filters that protect against piracy, it can provide content creators an audience of 71 million unique users worldwide every month.

If YouTube can deliver movies and TV shows in high quality, entertainment industry executives are going to want to be in front of YouTube's audience.

Regardless of who provides the content, it will only be a matter of time before most shows can be streamed across the Internet and embedded into blogs and websites. (A great way for fans to share their favorite shows and episodes.) Amazon and iTunes are already renting movies online. With the possible exception of live sporting events and news programs, computers are becoming increasingly good substitutes for television.

I wonder if/when Internet viewing of programs will exceed normal broadcasts? Being able to watch on your schedule instead of on a fixed timeframe is a wonderful option. I think it is only a matter of time before this becomes the dominant way of viewing programs. What's great about it is that you may even be able to do it through your iPhone.

1 comment:

luke middleton said... is great for tv shows (with ads)