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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Morning links: DreamWorks ditches Aardman ... Download revenue on the rise ... More on YouTube ads

- Variety reports that DreamWorks Animation and Aardman have ended their partnership after working on three movies together: 'Chicken Run,' 'Curse of the Were-Rabbit,' and 'Flushed Away.' (The last was Aardman's first computer-generated pic; the others were claymation.) Ben Fritz writes:

    Aardman is back in development on several films inhouse. Having long established its claymation prowess, company's in the midst of building up CGI capabilities, meaning it could potentially produce pics in both formats.

    How it will finance those movies, and how they will reach the market, is now an open question. A rep would say only that Aardman execs are looking at several different options.

    Possibilities include slate financing from private equity money, a one-off deal with a studio for its next pic or a new multifilm deal.

The Journal also has a short piece.


- The British research firm Informa predicts that revenues from legal TV and movie downloads will grow to $6.3 billion by 2012. Archie Thomas of Variety writes:


    The U.S. will account for 65% of this amount, according to a report published by Informa. Stateside sum will rise from $538 million in 2006 to $3.9 billion in 2012.

    Growth in the U.K. is expected to climb from $42 million in 2006 to $708 million in 2012.

    Increased broadband penetration and changing consumer habits will fuel the rising popularity of Web downloads.

- The BBC covers YouTube's decision to move toward integrating advertising in its videos. Tim Weber writes:

    YouTube founder Chad Hurley confirmed to the BBC that his team was working on a revenue-sharing mechanism that would "reward creativity".

    The system would be rolled out in a couple of months, he said, and use a mixture of adverts, including short clips shown ahead of the actual film.

John Battelle, who was at Davos for the announcement, has some additional perspective. Jeff Jarvis has a video clip.

My prediction is that YouTube will start with the least intrusive ads possible... perhaps a clickable still-frame ad at the end of a clip, or a five second video at the end, or even graphical or text ads integrated into the top or bottom of the YouTube video player. I'll be stunned if they introduce pre-roll advertising, which I think would drive off a large portion of YouTube viewers.