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YouTube adds full-length movies, TV shows

8:42 AM Fri, Apr 17, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko
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 YouTube has now entered the battle for the hearts, minds and eyeballs of Web surfers who thirst for TV and movie entertainment.

The online video giant yesterday announced it was adding long-form television and movie content to the site that has until now focused primarily on material that is not professionally produced.

The feature film lineup on YouTube is fairly limited right now, but it includes art house classics like Koyaanisqatsi and Fitzcarraldo and mainstream features Carrie and The Mod Squad.

You’ll also find TV shows like Golden Age favorites like You Bet Your Life, Jack Benny and Dick Van Dyke along with an assortment of other programs that range from Star Trek (the original) to Fantasy Island.

In case you were wondering, yes, just like on broadcast TV, there are commercials interspersed with the playback to pay for the programs and movies you’re watching. And YouTube’s long-form content is pretty spare right now when stacked up against sites like Hulu.com (with more than 1,000 TV titles) and TV.com (which claims more than 20,000 shows in its online catalog).

I was mildly surprised to see that YouTube does not appear to be offering its motion picture content with the the “HD” viewing option now available on many of its shorter clips. That could limit the appeal of streaming TV shows and movies, especially for computer users with larger screens, or who actually connect their computer to a TV set for living room presentation.

Another problem is that users might not have the patience to watch a 30-minute television show or even a two-hour movie on their computer in one sitting. There is no way to “bookmark” a program in the middle and return to viewing it later from the same spot.

YouTube’s advantage, of course, is that it is much more widely known than either Hulu or TV.com, and its ease of sharing clips with other Internet users should help give it a viral boost. Its fate over the longer term will hinge on YouTube’s ability to negotiate deals with more networks and movie studios.

But as Internet connection speeds get faster and faster — and as more set-top boxes (like Roku’s $99 Netflix Player and Vudu’s $149 option) are developed to easily deliver Web video directly to your TV set with no computer required — it’s inevitable that online content will attract an increasingly larger slice of your attention every week.

E-mail askwalt@wfaa.com



1 Comments

Yes, yes… but WHERE is the movie channel on YouTube? I have YT open in another browser window and I can’t find any mention or link to a movie channel.

Also – If this message posts it’ll be a fluke, because I can’t make out half of the characters in the “Captcha” thingy below. Why are these things always so hard to read?

^^^^^^^^

Second try – and I had to fill out this form again.


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