October 13, 2008
| by Arlen Schweiger
YouTube has exploded over the past few years thanks to millions of home-made videos, viral videos and clips of TV shows (including lots of ‘Family Guy’ clips and many others that get pulled down after a few days for legal reasons).
YouTube has also kept its video lengths held pretty tightly to a 10-minute maximum. Now the Google-owned company looks like it’s diving into full-length video fray, beginning with a deal to show CBS content.
The deal includes catalog classics like “MacGyver” and “Beverly Hills, 90210” plus series such as “Californication” and “Dexter” from CBS subsidiary Showtime.
The New York Times notes that YouTube has been a little more lax on the 10-minute rule of late, and also that our online attention spans seem to be grown, as the average video length has increased from 2.6 minutes to 2.9 minutes from July 2007 to July 2008. And that was with video lengths limited.
Switched says the video quality for the TV episodes is high, which should help as YouTube tries to add more content and catch up to the likes of Hulu in that realm. Also like Hulu, the YouTube full episodes will have ads before, during and after the presentation—longer videos lending themselves as a more welcome venue for ads than the short clips that proliferate the site.
And of course, another key for YouTube is that it can be easily accessed from your Apple TV or iPhone/iPod touch, as if you needed much more coaxing to line Steve Jobs’ pockets.
CBS obviously thinks that viewing streamed content is climbing people’s priority lists, having added content to Netflix subscribers recently. Now let’s just see if more TV content comes flooding or trickling into YouTube.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.