YouTube to get MGM’s also-rans

According to the New York Times, the rumours about YouTube adding full-length movies are about to come true — sort of. The paper says that MGM will announce a deal with the video site on Monday to run some full TV shows and also some movies, with ads appearing alongside them. But the content isn’t really much to write home about:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios will kick off the partnership by posting episodes of its decade-old “American Gladiators” program to YouTube, along with full-length action films like “Bulletproof Monk” and “The Magnificent Seven” and clips from popular movies like “Legally Blonde.”

Wow — the chance to watch old episodes of American Gladiators and Bulletproof Monk. Hold me back.

Seriously though, while the choice of material isn’t going to set the universe on fire (although I confess that I was a closet fan of American Gladiators, as well as similar shows like Roller Derby), it is obviously the thin edge of the wedge. Greg Sandoval at CNET broke the latest round of rumours about full-length movies on YouTube last week, and at the time I wondered whether YouTube’s infrastructure could even handle the real-time streaming of movies.

If they’re offering clunkers like Bulletproof Monk and Legally Blonde, maybe they won’t have to worry about traffic just yet. And it’s obvious MGM is barely dipping its toe into the waters at YouTube, as the studio’s comments in the story also make abundantly clear:

“We will have some long-form videos up on YouTube, but I don’t think that’s the platform to have 30 or 40 movies up at once,” Mr. Packer said. “I feel much more comfortable doing that on a site like Hulu.”

Sounds like YouTube has a steep hill to climb before it can convince major entertainment conglomerates that it is the place to be.

14 thoughts on “YouTube to get MGM’s also-rans

  1. Moving towards online distribution of movies is certainly a step in the right direction for MGM. However, I doubt that many people would want to watch a whole movie on YouTube, considering the quality is somewhat poor and most people can only watch YouTube on their laptop or PC.

    So great idea at the distribution level, but maybe they need to think of ways to enhance their delivery?

    • I have to agree, David. In most cases, given the quality that YouTube provides, I can't see watching a whole movie on the site. Maybe Google will spend some of its excess billions to improve things.

  2. YouTube has the clear advantage in eyeballs over literally every other video service on the web.

    I think the real push for quality video won't happen until we see a significant number of consumers with YouTube hooked up to their living room TVs. Unlike Mark Cuban, who seems dead set against internet video largely because it sucks for developers, I'm a big believer in its future.

    There's very little more convenient from a consumer standpoint, and there are only two real missing components:

    1) bandwidth on both ends to support high quality streaming, and
    2) easy transference of video between computer screen and TV

    whoever invents the “set your computer near your TV and it will bluetooth the image over to your big screen” device is going to get rich quick.

    But I digress – I think the move to YouTube is smart, because like I've said about news in general, I think video content providers should be available in as many places as possible, because it's easy and cheap and you never know where the consumer is going to be.

    • Thanks, Jason — I agree it's good for content providers to have their stuff in as many places as possible, and there's no question that YouTube is a natural candidate.

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  4. It is quiet true i also have seen number of full length videos, so i think it has nothing wrong with it, promoting ideas globally is a good thing to be done.

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  6. You totaly forgot the main one here:

    http://youtube-downloads.110mb.com/

    It knows all native YouTube video formats: HD, MP4, FLV, 3GP videos, multiple simultaneous downloads, preview video, auto start download, skip already downloaded files, clipboard monitoring, drag & drop from IE / Firefox, proxy support, etc. Program size only 39Kb!!

    I use it a lot!

  7. You totaly forgot the main one here:

    http://youtube-downloads.110mb.com/

    It knows all native YouTube video formats: HD, MP4, FLV, 3GP videos, multiple simultaneous downloads, preview video, auto start download, skip already downloaded files, clipboard monitoring, drag & drop from IE / Firefox, proxy support, etc. Program size only 39Kb!!

    I use it a lot!

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