YouTube’s quest for real Hollywood content continues. Ongoing talks with Sony Pictures could result in full-length streaming movies for the site — a big improvement over the watery content deal reached the other day for short-form content from Disney/ABC/ESPN.
Of course, Sony won’t be giving up its latest boxoffice hits. The studio’s film showcase crackle.com serves up fare such as “Groundhog Day,” “Shakes the Clown” and “St. Elmo’s Fire.” While we wouldn’t mind revisiting “Shakes” or “Neighbors,” there’s little but moldy catalog stuff on the Sony site. That’s what would come to YouTube, probably in limited numbers and perhaps unspooled on a branded Sony player.
Still, this seems reason enough for YouTube to get excited. The user-posted-video site, which spent years alienating Hollywood’s suits, is finding it tough getting anything of value out of would-be premium partners such as Sony. YouTube’s upcoming redesign prominently features movie and TV content.
YouTube hasn’t been able to monetize its endless user-generated content — beloved by the public but considered trash by the ad buyers — and is desperate to do something about its money-losing ways. Credit Suisse analysts just projected an annual YouTube loss of $470 million.