As Google begins to make inroads in Hollywood, YouTube's parent company remains focused on short-form content, according to studio executives.
I reported Wednesday that the entertainment industry is much impressed with some of the ways Google is making YouTube more attractive to copyright owners, such as developing new technology that will scour the Web for pirated videos and insert ads into them. In the negotiations to obtain content, Google has focused on the rights to short-form material, said a manager at one of the top studios.
I've said for the past year that YouTube should launch a premium movie channel on the site where users could watch full-length features and TV shows. With over 70 million monthly visitors, YouTube could instantly become a media power--provided that it could deliver video in higher quality than what's available at YouTube now.
But YouTube and Google execs have told their counterparts in Hollywood: We don't want to be a media company.
Google Video soured the company on long-form, according to a studio executive who has participated in negotiations with Google.
If you remember, Google Video was the company's initial response to YouTube.
One of the key differences between the sites back in 2006 was Google Video sold and rented full-length video content.
CBS (parent company of CNET News), the NBA, and independent filmmakers were among those who offered material for download. The program was hampered by poor video quality and long download times. It didn't go anywhere and Google pulled the plug in August.
But video technology has improved since then and sites such as Hulu, the jointly owned video portal from NBC Universal and News Corp., are attracting audiences with popular full-length TV shows and films.
Some in Hollywood expect Google will change its mind, said a manager from a TV network.
"I think that (short-form content) is where (Google) wants to start," the executive said. "But Hulu has shown that there is a market for PC delivery of TV shows and films. It's short-sighted for anyone to think that long-form is over for YouTube."