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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Will YouTube Ever Be a Place for Long-Form Content?

There's news this week that YouTube and Sony are negotiating to bring more full-length films to YouTube. From CNET's coverage:

    Founded in 2005, YouTube made a name for itself by showcasing amateur-made snippets as well as hosting scores of illegally posted clips from the best TV shows and films. YouTube has done much to rid the site of pirated content, but the flip side is that most of the hot shows and films that generated big viewership are gone. At the same time, a host of Web video services are offering full-length films and TV episodes online. To compete, YouTube is trying to get access to the same premium content but has so far only acquired a handful of films from the archives of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

What do you think... will long-form viewing ever be part of the YouTube experience, or is this something that Hulu and Netflix and others will eventually own?

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  • Actually allowing producers other than the big corporates to upload longer format video would be a start. Practically everything I produce is more than 10 minutes in length so I need to look elsewhere to post the content.

    By Blogger test, at 10:08 PM  

  • The big "if' is quality. Even the HD version of YouTube lags behind the compression of FaceBook, Hulu, etc. I'm constantly disappointed with the way my stuff looks on YouTube and rarely leave it up there for more than a few weeks.

    By Blogger GBH, at 1:42 AM  

  • Justin - that's a good point. Even with a director's account, you're limited to 10 minutes?

    By Blogger Scott Kirsner, at 8:19 AM  

  • Let's look at this another way:

    If YouTube only allows the major players to put up long form content then you have a situation where:

    a) The viewer will see the studio movie for the space of two hours max. That's one unique visit.

    b) But if you're an indie you can cut up that movie of yours into ten chapters and serialize it - getting ten unique visits to YouTube per viewer.

    Am I getting the ad metrics right here, or am I off in my thinking?

    Distribution affects content affects advertising...

    By Blogger Cunningham, at 1:13 PM  

  • Yup. YouTube has imposed a 10 minute limit. If you're shopping around for places to put your video, you may find useful the site I've created at which features side by side comparisons of videos embedded to the major players. Vimeo and ExposureRoom are good, but don't have the audience YT can pull. My guess is that YouTube will be rolling out some long-form service soon. p.s. Keep up the good work Scott! :-)

    By Blogger Unknown, at 5:46 AM  

  • If Youtube videos can get to my living room TV then I think it could get huge.

    Clearly permission will be needed for the average use to upload videos that big, but my computer chair is not the place I want to watch a feature-length movie at. I just don't. Not even half hour shows if I can help it.

    By Blogger Price Jaccobi, at 9:25 PM  

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