Fun for the whole family
This week YouTube made a handful of changes meant to expedite its evolution into a professional content hub.
The online video streaming site launched a destination for TV shows, as well as a revamped subsite for movies — putting it in a better position to compete with rivals like the NBC- and Fox-owned Hulu. The new sections are currently limited to the United States.
New partners, which will populate both locations with content, were also announced: Crackle, CBS, MGM, Lionsgate, Starz "and many others" will avail "thousands of television episodes and hundreds of movies" upon which users can comment and share, boasted the YouTube blog.
"This addition is one of many efforts underway to ensure that we're offering you all the different kinds of video you want to see, from bedroom vlogs and citizen journalism reports to music videos and full-length films and TV shows."
Two new tabs were also added to the YouTube masthead, to increase visibility for the new sections as well as to help users better navigate them. "Shows" lets users browse by genre, network, title and popularity; "Subscriptions" lets logged-in users access content from favorited video publishers.
The online video giant also launched a broader release of in-stream ads, "not unlike what you might see when viewing this type of content on TV" — in tandem with news that Google is releasing TVAds Online, a CPM-based way to target television programs with pre-roll or post-roll messages.
YouTube may be well on its way to merging with traditional TV. During Google's earnings call yesterday, CEO Eric Schmidt also suggested micropayments (for movie rentals, for example) may begin appearing on YouTube, reports Search Engine Land.
Recent Nielsen data reports that almost two-thirds of all US-based online video views happen on YouTube — which served over 90 million visitors next month, according to comScore.