YouTube eyes full length Hollywood films

YouTube is in talks with Hollywood to show full-length films for free over the internet according to The Guardian newspaper.

It is not known which Hollywood studios are involved, but The Guardian says that running free films with advertising, "would mark a radical advance for the video-sharing website as it looks to profit from its massive popularity."

A report from the CNET news website suggested a YouTube movie service could arrive within 90 days.

The development is part of a drive to increase profits at the video website, which has struggled to meet financial expectations since Google bought it for US$1.65 billion (€1.28 billion) in 2006.

YouTube contributors can already run advertising over their videos or add links to music and DVDs sales from iTunes and Amazon. A movie deal would also build on a recent agreement with the TV network CBS whereby the broadcaster's shows are screened online, with advertising, in return for a share of the revenue, The Guardian commented.

It seems to be the way of the world. The BBC's iPlayer has shown more than 160 million programmes in the past year, and Hulu, a website backed by the American networks NBC and Fox, has become very popular since its launch last year, though it huge library of content. Amazon has also started streaming some films on IMDb.com, the UK-based online film database that it bought 10 years ago.

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