YouTube to screen free full-length movies
YouTube will show full-length television shows and films from MGM’s archives in its latest step to boost advertising revenue.
MGM Studios will kick off the partnership by posting episodes of its decade-old American Gladiators program to YouTube.
On another channel, MGM will post full-length action films such as Bulletproof Monk and The Magnificent Seven and clips from popular movies such as Legally Blonde. These will be free to watch, with ads running alongside the video.
YouTube in October forged a similar partnership with CBS to run full-length archived shows, including Star Trek, Young and the Restless and Beverly Hills 90210.
Many TV networks already run short clips on YouTube, which also offers millions of home videos uploaded by users.
Until now, YouTube videos were predominantly short clips of ten minutes or less. The company has been experimenting with full-length shows for some months with Time Warner’s HBO and CBS’s Showtime cable networks.
The new partnerships put YouTube in more direct competition with sites such as the BBC’s iPlayer and Hulu, the online video site owned by News Corp. Hulu features up-to-date full-length shows from News Corp’s Fox networks, NBC and CBS. It also has a YouTube channel which features short-clip versions of its shows.