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YouTube to feature sitcoms and full length movies

Alex Christie

19 April 2009

Google-owned YouTube, announced partnerships on Thursday with Sony Pictures, BBC Worldwide, CBS, Discovery Networks, Lionsgate, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, National Geographic, PBS, Sony's Crackle, Starz and others that will feature television shows and full length feature films.

Users can visit  http://www.youtube.com/movies which currently includes mostly older movies like Cliffhanger and St Elmos Fire and http://www.youtube.com/shows for old sitcoms like Bonanza.

International screening rights means that availability is decided by TV and film companies, rather than YouTube so services are limited to per region but they are looking to expand their services and regions as soon as possible.

The company which reached 100 million users for the first time in Jan of this year is facing increased competition from traditional media companies like NBC and the BBC. While they have been offering full-length movies for some time, YouTube are promising "thousands of new television episodes and hundreds of movies" on a per region basis.

They have confirmed that they are developing a new advertising model and which enables commercials to be added into ad breaks of television shows being watched online. The move to expand YouTube's content is the latest attempt by Google to generate revenue from the immensely popular video-sharing site which it purchased for 1.65 billion dollars in 2006.

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