MGM has turned out to be the studio that will distribute some of their feature film catalog via YouTube. The studio will start by showing movies like Bulletproof Monk and other catalog titles in full along with clips from other movies like Legally Blonde. While, as the story says, the titles might not be the biggest draws around it’s a starting point for a further relationship. And YouTube kind of needs Hollywood more right now than Hollywood actually needs YouTube. The site continues to struggle for legitimacy, even with its two new ad options.
The story pegs the fact that YouTube has a lot of ground to make up against sites like Hulu that have overcome early skepticism with a nice clean design and the fact that they only have professionally created content there. As Karina points out, this sort of mealy-mouthed half-assed approach to YouTube speaks volumes more than any official statements might.
In the end the studios will pick a mainstream distribution outlet that works the best at meeting their needs, not the needs of the audience. But considering there’s now rampant speculation that Hulu might actually exceed YouTube’s audience sometime next year those two interests might actually wind up aligning for once.
But back to MGM for a moment: The studio is likely to achieve greater market penetration via their new deal with AT&T to carry the high-definition MGM-HD channel than anything with YouTube. That’s simply because the viewing experience will be better for the average viewer.