Disney Ad-Supported Content Coming to YouTube

Dennis Faas's picture

Disney has taken one step closer to posting many of its popular ABC and ESPN shows on YouTube. For now the deal includes only "short-form video content," but hopes are that the media giant will eventually begin shifting popular TV series to Google's iconic video site.

It also appears that YouTube mainstream media concerns over copyright conflicts are beginning to dissipate. Despite a recent expedition by Warner to censor any videos using its music, previous deals with studios like MGM demonstrate that YouTube is now being taken very seriously by Hollywood and silver screen heavyweights.

Multiple Ad-supported Channels

Last night it was announced that Disney would soon bring select portions of its ESPN and ABC content to YouTube. The exact wording, which includes "multiple ad-supported channels featuring short-form content from ESPN and the Disney/ABC Television Group," means that Disney content will begin to appear on YouTube before the end of April. (Source: cnet.com)

Although YouTube should see heightened traffic because of the deal, Disney appears to be sitting in the driver's seat. That's because the company retains the rights to sell its own advertising with the content it provides. (Source: foxbusiness.com)

A Step Towards Something Bigger?

The short-form deal could represent a stepping stone to something much more significant. Reports suggest that YouTube and Disney are still in talks to bring long-form content to the popular video site, a deal that could truly threaten video rival Hulu, which had been in similar discussions with Disney. A YouTube deal would probably kill any hopes of a pact with Hulu.

Many insiders see the move as a test by Disney to see if placing content on YouTube can actually reap commercial rewards. If advertisers and Disney are happy with the deal, say, in several months, it's possible other, more significant pacts could be made with Google. However, if the results are deemed minimal, we could see a general decline in studio interest in the web. (Source: cnet.com)

If YouTube is to rival Hulu in showing feature-length shows and movies, it will need to address concerns that these copyrighted materials are anything but secure from pirates.

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