YouTube adds more Hollywood movies, TV shows
YouTube announced partnerships with Sony Pictures and other Hollywood studios and rolled out new platforms to feature television shows and full-length movies.
Google-owned YouTube, which has been cautiously adding more professional content to a website that started as a venue for amateur videos, unveiled a new destination for television shows and an expanded platform for movies.
Youtube.com/shows, which went live late Thursday, features television programs from companies such as BBC Worldwide, CBS, Discovery Networks, Lionsgate, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, National Geographic, PBS, Sony's Crackle, Starz and others.
Youtube.com/movies features movies from Lionsgate, MGM, Starz and other studios.
"This addition is one of many efforts underway to ensure that we're offering you all the different kinds of video you want to see, from bedroom vlogs and citizen journalism reports to music videos and full-length films and TV shows," YouTube said in a post on the official company blog.
The television shows and movie destinations are currently limited to users in the United States but YouTube said "we look forward to expanding to other regions as soon as possible."
YouTube and the studios are to share advertising revenue on the sites and Google simultaneously on Thursday announced the launch of Google TV Ads Online, which allows advertisers to place commercials into the ad breaks of television shows being watched online.
The move to expand YouTube's menu of professional content is the latest attempt by Google to generate revenue from the immensely popular video-sharing site which it purchased for 1.65 billion dollars in 2006.
It also comes as YouTube faces increasing competition from services such as Apple's iTunes and websites such as Hulu, a partnership between NBC Universal and News Corp.'s Fox, which air full-length television shows.
Earlier this month, Universal Music Group and YouTube announced plans to launch a music video website, VEVO.com, featuring artists from the world's largest music company.
Music videos are among the most popular content on YouTube and Universal's channel is already the most-watched on the site with more than 3.5 billion views.
Mountain View, California-based Google has been striving for ways to make money on YouTube while avoiding alienating notoriously transient Web users and assuring film and music studios that copyrights are being respected.
The number of US Internet users watching videos at YouTube hit a new monthly high in January, topping 100 million, according to research firm comScore.