YouTube Adds to Movie, TV Show Lineup
The Associated Press
By Ryan Nakashima
LOS ANGELES -- Google's (GOOG Quote) YouTube is expanding its library of full-length movies and TV shows it offers online, while also launching a new advertising service and adding about a dozen new content partners.
The long-form videos will be housed on a unique page at www.youtube.com/shows
and get a "Shows" tab on the main YouTube site.
The offering, which went live late Thursday, marks a further departure from the fuzzy homemade clips that made the Web site popular and is the latest move in YouTube's attempt to boost sales and profits. Last week, YouTube announced it was teaming up with Universal Music Group to create an online music video venture.
"It's a first step in a long commitment," said Shiva Rajaraman, a YouTube senior product manager, in a conference call with reporters.
The company hopes to add to its movie and show content over time. The titles available at launch are mostly older fare already available elsewhere on the Web. It will offer for free hundreds of TV show titles including "Beverly Hillbillies" and "Married With Children," and hundreds of movies, including "Casino Royale" and "Cliffhanger."
The service expands on YouTube's existing partnership with several studios, whose parents include Sony(SNE Quote), Lions Gate(LGF Quote), CBS(CBS Quote), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Liberty Media(LINTB Quote).
On Thursday it also announced new partnerships with 13 smaller companies such as Discovery Communications(DISCA Quote), National Geographic and SnagFilms.
Advertising revenue will be shared with the content providers.
The news follows Google's earnings report Thursday in which the Internet search giant earned $1.42 billion, or $4.49 a share, in the first quarter, up 9% from a year ago.
Google bought YouTube for $1.76 billion in late 2006 but it hasn't emerged as a major marketing vehicle and the company doesn't disclose its revenue figures. Analysts have estimated its revenue in 2008 at around $200 million.