YouTube Inks New Programming Deals

Posted on April 16, 2009

YouTube just inked deals with Sony, Lionsgate, BBC, Starz, Discovery and National Geographic in a bid to increase its premium content offerings. YouTube will offer full length-movies and television shows for free on its site to compete with Hulu. But, unlike Hulu, users won't actually watch the movies on YouTube. Instead, they get sent somewhere else.

Pact isn't considered a traditional content licensing deal because in order to watch the videos, users will be directed to separate destinations operated by the partners. For example, Sony will offer a selection of movies to YouTube. But when users click on the pics, they’ll be sent to, the studio's branded destination for movies and TV shows, which are free to view. Site makes its money from selling ads.

Sony has 60 movies currently on Crackle but will provide YouTube with only a dozen pics. "It's all about driving traffic to Crackle," said a source close to the deal. Content from other partners will similarly send viewers to their owners' proprietary websites.

We don't see how this competes with, which is a great site we use all the time. Why go to YouTube at all, when you can just go straight to Crackle?

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