YouTube is launching a new gateway for professionally produced television shows, and is expanding its gateway for movies, the Google owned video site says.
YouTube.com/shows will feature full length episodes of classic shows such as The Addams Family, Star Trek and Married With Children, as well as current primetime series Harper's Island. It also collects in one place clips from its other content partners, including Discovery Communications.
The deal comes as YouTube inks new and expanded deals with a number of content creators, including Sony, MGM and Lionsgate. To go along with the new gateway and content, YouTube will be expanding the use of in-stream advertising on the professional content.
While YouTube is easily the largest video site on the Net, it is in the red, thanks to the high cost of running the site and the relatively low revenue stream. Advertisers are generally loathe to buy ads on amateur content, fearing that their brands could be associated with content that may not be appropriate. Even if they do buy ads there, the CPMs are generally very low. By expanding professional content, YouTube can sell more ads at a higher CPM.
The only major network to present full length episodes on YouTube so far is CBS, which is presenting murder mystery Harper's Island on the site. NBC and Fox are co-owners of Hulu, which competes with YouTube for professional content, so it is unlikely their episodes will be finding their way to the Google site anytime soon. ABC is also in negotiations to join Hulu. It is unclear whether the Disney-owned network would also be inclined to join YouTube.