MGM bringing full-length movies to YouTube

YouTube may still be in the dog house with some nervous Hollywood studio executives, but not MGM.

MGM today announced a partnership with Google’s popular video-sharing site that will bring long-format movies and television content to several branded channels.

The first, called “[Impact](,” will feature action programming in the form of clips from MGM movies and television shows, as well as full-length clips. Impact began as a video-on-demand venture MGM launched with Comcast.

The second, [American Gladiators](, and will feature highlights and full episodes from the show’s run in the 1980s and 1990s.

But those are just the first of several, according to Jim Packer, co-president of MGM Worldwide Television.

“Our agreement with YouTube opens the door to a number of themed broadband channels that will both serve the consumers’ growing appetite for entertainment media consumption in the digital space and ‘on-demand’ space,” Packer said in a statement.

For Google, the announcement is significant on two fronts. Bringing premium content to YouTube is often seen as the key to monetizing the wildly popular, but financially disappointing site. Google will place ads alongside MGM’s content, with the two companies sharing the revenue. YouTube has been a tough sell for many advertisers, who are reluctant to place their branded messages alongside a mixed bag of amateur content.

Perhaps more significantly, the agreement confers a new legitimacy on YouTube as a viable showcase for their vaulted content.

“We’re looking to mine the breadth and depth of the MGM library to build out and promote branded, multiplatform opportunities on demand, online and wherever viewers consume their entertainment,” Packer said.

That’s a stark contrast from Viacom, the entertainment conglomerate embroiled in a $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for showing unlicensed content.

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