YouTube Makes Deal with WB and Turner Broadcasting

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:27 pm,

superman wb youtube header YouTube Makes Deal with WB and Turner Broadcasting

Hollywood is funny to me. They moan and groan about new technology when it first comes out, mainly because it allows people to “rip them off”; but afterward, once the technology has been around and they have spent millions fighting it, Hollywood finally embraces it, claims it as their own and purports it to be the best thing since sliced bread.

The music industry shutdown Napster because the RIAA refused to embrace the newest format of digital music, only to “introduce” it as the latest and greatest thing ever with Apple and the iTunes store years later. Then YouTube came along a few years later and allowed people all over the world to enjoy video clips of their favorite shows that otherwise they would have missed. The movie and television industry tried to shut them down because the MPAA refused to conform and adapt its business model to a new format, one the consumer really wanted. Now, again years later, they show back up with Hulu, Veoh and other streaming video websites and try to make consumers think they came up with it first.

Case in point: Warner Bros. at one point was a leader in heading the protest and removal of YouTube. Now, years later, WB along with Turner Broadcasting have struck a major deal with the massive Google-owned video site to make video clips of their popular shows available for the masses. There is a catch though: the YouTube clips will be ad driven (makes sense) and will link back to the website to allow viewers to buy the full show on DVD.

WB/TB will offer programs from their spinoff networks, including Cartoon Network and CNN, on a branded YouTube channel.  A couple of months ago, we reported on Dimension Films doing the same thing with their horror films to help promote Halloween 2; it really is the latest rage in Hollywood to jump aboard the YouTube wagon. A few months ago, ABC, CBS, Sony Pictures and Starz all signed deals with the YouTube to stream full TV episodes and movies all supported by ads. HBO, also owned by Time Warner, has been making clips for its popular shows available on the site since last year.

Anyone notice a difference when comparing what WB has done to what the other companies have done? While the other organizations have made full movies and episodes available online with fifteen to thirty second ads scattered throughout, WB is only offering short clips of their property. You will still have to buy the ENTIRE season of Smallville to catch that one episode you missed when the power went out and your DVR wouldn’t work.

Time Warner chair-CEO Jeff Bewkes had this to say about the WB/YouTube deal:

“Working with YouTube, we expect to improve our ability to monetize this shortform content through new and creative advertising initiatives.”

Paraphrase: “This will give us a chance to promote our stuff even more by laying claim to something that was being done long before we made this deal.” I assume that’s what he meant by the words “new” and “creative”. Just one time, I would love to hear a CEO get in front of a camera and say “We really missed out on these opportunities years ago. Someone should slap us with a ruler for being thick-headed dimwits.” I would believe THAT speech a whole lot more.

Don’t know about you, but I’d rather watch an entire show on Hulu, rather than see a clip of the show on YouTube. And does anyone really want to buy TV DVDs anymore? Used to be that was the only way to watch a full season of a show you never caught – and unlike movies, shows rarely have a “rewatchabilty” factor to them (unless of course it’s Psych, Firefly or Dr. Who). $20 movie? Ok I’ll watch it 5 or 6 times; $50 TV show? Um, I’ll watch it once and then I’m done.

What do you think, is WB going the correct route by only offering clips online? Or should they have stepped up and offered  entire shows via ad driven content?

I’m off to watch the A-Team on Hulu; season 3 episode 5 and counting!

Source: Variety

TAGS: Smallville
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  1. This is not a surprise in the least. The networks/studios have been planning this all along. It was just a question of timing. Youtube and Hulu are working as we speak to create new ways to advertise and make money off this in the future. Youtube won’t be free forever.

    (Who buys TV dvds?)
    Just picked up Dexter the other day. I prefer owning my collection over having it on some server. I also never watch any tv shows on Hulu or any of those sites…

  2. Who buys TV DVDs? I bought Star Trek: TOS on DVD and The Flash (stop looking at me that way :-) ). But like 790 said, we knew this was coming.

  3. Intelligent, Very Intelligent.

  4. I do own the ones I mentioned in the article but honestly do you get the same amount of use from a TV DVD boxset as you do a movie?

    @Kahless – I still say The Flash had the best looking superhero suit until Spiderman came along.

    @790n – I’m always finding new shows to watch on Hulu. I have never even herad of a show called ReGensis and now i’m on season 3.

  5. I own all of BSG on DVD :) I also have Avatar (most of it), The Unit, Farscape… If I’m curious about a show I’ll Netflix a season, and if I really love it then I will buy seasons on DVD. Much easier that trying to watch movies on my internet setup. Not cheaper, but easier.

  6. Yeah I still get use out of TV dvds. Most have commentaries that I will listen to eventually.

    They also fetch more cash if you sell them used.

  7. I don’t actually think it’s reasonable for internet geeks to whine about big companies with tens of thousands of shareholders not jumping at every opportunity that comes along to give away their product for free. It makes far more sense for them to do what they have done, which is to protect their short-term interests in the short-term, while examining the new options in depth before embracing them on their own terms. Paul might be amused by such back-and-forth, but from a business perspective it’s perfectly rational.

  8. look! Up in the sky!… It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s YOUTUBE-MAN

  9. I like having my favorite TV shows on DVD, but only certain ones. Shows like “24″ I really have no interest in buying because you already know what happens and the suspense is one of the biggest parts of that show. Show like “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy” and “Married…with Children” are able to be watched over and over again and the humor is still there. Plus, I mean, who CAN’T watch classic Trek over and over again? I’ve probably watched “The Doomsday Machine” 3 or 4 times since I bought TOS on DVD.

  10. OMG, businesses are out to make money!!! *insert shocked smiley here* lol

    Oh well, if youtube isn’t free, it won’t have as many visitors, so that might work against them. Some other video website will just take over as #1 then… We’ll see.

  11. I don’t know anyone who watches tv shows on youtube. I’m from Croatia, and people here usually download them from thepiratebay (i know, piracy is bad etc.), since tv shows that premier this week in US are on Croatian TV next year. Pretty understandable considering that no one should wait for that final season of Lost an extra year :)

  12. I don’t blame WB for wanting to stop availability of a television episode but I do think they are morons for prohibiting their music videos from being shown since it really only hurts their musical artist. Most people won’t buy individual music videos (especially since iTunes won’t allow us to burn the music videos to dvd) whereas they would buy a tv series they enjoy. I disagree that people don’t watch tv series over and over. Sure I can’t watch Law and Order SVU more than once since its so serious, but I do love watching comedies like Golden Girls, Friends, and dramas like Buffy, Angel, Charmed, Wonder Woman, etc… I think it just depends on the individual tastes but tv on dvd was and IS still a great concept that I hope YouTube does not destroy. There are still tv shows that die hard fans want on dvd in GREAT quality rather than the grainy mess we find sometimes on sites like YouTube.