YouTube Goes Into The Movie Business

Photo of Tim Mulligan
by Tim Mulligan

YouTube’s recent announcement to make movies with Awesomeness TV heralds the launch of new positive rather than reactive thinking by the world’s largest vide sharing and viewing site. On it’s 10th anniversary, the Google owned platform is keen to prove that it still creates rather than reacts to online video trends.

The announcement that over the next two years YouTube will partner with the Multi Channel Network Awesomeness TV to release Native Creator Feature length films is both a headline grabbing and a pragmatic decision. It’s headline grabbing because despite YouTuber featured movies already available and selling on successfully on iTunes, the perception is of additional content for iPhone/iPad users. Creating global premieres on YouTube with all the attendant publicity that the world’s third most visited site can bring makes future launches an event. It’s pragmatic because its both a major new feature and a significant potential new revenue stream for Content Creators who are currently having their heads turned by the likes of Vessel.

Popular Appetite for Content Creator Long Form Products

Short form is what the YouTube brand was built upon. However a decade on the technology, data , and networking restrictions that made short form the default medium for online video at he beginning of the 21st century no longer apply. Cheap fast data transmission and smart phones both enabled the growth of long form as a medium and at the same time driven consumer demand. The popularity of films featuring YouTube stars on iTunes-where they frequently displace Hollywood studio films underlines this new reality.

The YouTube Fightback

Most significantly of all YouTube’s tie up with Awesomeness TV to launch this service is a clear declaration of intent to the plethora of disruptors clustering around the online video hegemon. Although YouTube maybe slow and through its weight around with its content partners, when it gets behind something, everyone has to take note. No other platform yet offers the scale or the reach to Native Creators, and so inevitably YouTube remains the main video space dominating the online world.

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