Sick of watching videos of people’s cats in crappy quality on YouTube? Soon you’ll be able to watch full-length movies in crappy quality on YouTube! And by “soon”, I mean possibly as early as next month.
Google would dearly love to launch an ad-supported streaming movie service, but given the flagrant copyright violations which occur there every second of ever day, the movie studios haven’t been too keen. However, two unnamed executives have confirmed that although it’s not “imminent”, a project along those lines could go live in the next “30 to 90 days”.
Difficulties have also arisen over advertising formats, with both parties wanting control over the way ads are shown to viewers. Google will likely want an option with the minimum of disruption to its users, but the studios want the final decision over how it works.
Google’s issued a non-denial, saying:
“We are in negotiations with a variety of entertainment companies. Our goal is to offer maximum choice for our users, partners, and advertisers.”
A move like this will put the player into direct competition with BBC’s iPlayer, and NBC’s “Hulu” service in the US. Google has a lot of weight behind YouTube, but unfortunately its rivals have all the content. If that battle breaks out, then it’ll be interesting to see who comes through victorious.