Full-length Movie of Sony Pictures on YouTube
YouTube is reportedly in talks and trying to get the license rights of full-length films from Sony Pictures. Details about what a final agreement could look like are sparse, but any partnership between the two powerhouses would likely benefit both. If they have an accord, the move will allow YouTube to better compete with the content NBC-owned Hulu, which already streams a wide variety of full-length movies and TV shows. Sony Pictures' Web video property, Crackle, could mean a major boost to YouTube's long-form hopes.
Sony Pictures acquired Crackle for $65 million in 2006, shortly before Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube. The site began as Grouper, a video-sharing site and YouTube rival. In July 2007, the studio swapped business models and names after it became obvious YouTube had locked up the video-sharing market.
YouTube is trying to become a player in Hollywood at a time when the online video sector is bursting with an increasing number of savvy and very watchable Web video services. YouTube, which did more than any company to create the online video sector, is at risk of falling behind when it comes to offering the kind of content most sought after by audiences as well as advertisers.
After decades of pumping money into Hollywood, the cable operators and premium movie channels could have an advantage when it comes to acquiring studio content. The cable companies are also looking for their own online-video plans. Where Crackle and YouTube can help each other. Sony Pictures presumably wants to promote Crackle. so it needs to get in front of large audience. YouTube needs popular movies and TV shows and that means striking deals with studio and networks willing to post long-form content on the Web. Not all of them are.
YouTube and Google can't be too choosy. The truth is that two years ago they miscalculated how much they needed Hollywood. YouTube frustrated some studio and TV executives by saying "we're not responsible for the actions of our users."
YouTube should still go ahead. Sony and Disney are worth to make a deal.