YouTube Into Movies

An article in the New York Times caught my eye with regard to YouTube trying to make a deal with a couple of Hollywood Studios.

The Google-owned company already has a couple of deals with big players MGM and CBS as well as Lion’s Gate Entertainment. However, these deals cover old movies that are free, while the new deal they are trying to strike with the likes of Sony and Warner Brothers, would cover more recent releases and will cost the consumer.

In theory, it’s a great idea, but there are a couple of things to consider. For a start, if you are going to watch a movie via YouTube on your computer, then you better hope it has very good resolution and its processor can help stream the content nice and evenly. Nothing worse than a stop/start movie, or having to wait for it to download properly.

YouTube itself will have to invest in servers etc that will show good quality. The vast majority of videos that pop up on the screen are of crappy resolution.

Also, this kind of service will eat into the likes of netflix, and in the US Amazon too, who both offer customer-orientated solutions to watching movies, as opposed to the likes of Blockbuster, where you actually have to drive to the shop to get a movie. And speaking of the likes of Blockbuster, will they now be past their use-by date? Ditto exhibitors? Of the former, I’d say its days are numbered. Of the latter, I’d say it will survive. Television, VHS and DVD were supposed to kill off the cinema experience, but there is something cool about watching a huge movie with massive special effects on the big screen.

Finally, the likes of Sony probably won’t want to cut of their nose to spite their face. If a service like YouTube becomes the norm, why would I want to buy a Sony Blu-ray player?

So what will happen? I think the deal will be struck, what wider implications that will have is yet to be seen.