YouTube Gets Feature Films: Watch Out Hulu

Long the home for user-created video clips, YouTube is looking at offering feature films. Yup — full-length feature flicks from one of the biggest Hollywood studios. Hulu better watch out. According to a report on CNET news, an exec with inside knowledge said, "It's not imminent, but it's going to happen. I would say you can expect to see it, if all goes well, sometime within the next 30 to 90 days."

Google, parent company of YouTube, has been trying to do this for months, but struggled to find an acceptable way to insert the necessary ad revenue to fund this project. Some studios, such as Lionsgate, are only agreeing to grant permission for short-form movies. 

Google spokesperson is quoted: "We are in negotiations with a variety of entertainment companies. Our goal is to offer maximum choice for our users, partners, and advertisers.

Who can blame the studios? With so much user-generated content, it would be hard for a viewer to know if it's a pirated or spoof copy of something or a studio-approved original.

Should Hulu be worried?

Until now, they were two different experiences. For a quick laugh at some home-grown videos, YouTube was the place to go. If you wanted a high-quality viewing experience, ad-supported high-quality Hulu rules.

Hulu is a more attractive site for commercial programming, because advertisers have a more reliable knowledge of what will be shown. Plus, the quality of Hulu's video and audio is far superior to YouTube.

With similar content, it's going to be interesting to sit back and see who will rule. Given a choice, where does your browser go? YouTube, or Hulu? —Leslie Shapiro