Washington: YouTube has reached agreement with Sony Pictures and other Hollywood studios to show full-length movies and television shows on the video-sharing website, leading technology blogs reported on Thursday.
TechCrunch, a well-connected Silicon Valley blog, said other studios and media companies which have agreed to allow their content to be posted for free on the Google-owned site include Metro Goldwyn Mayer, CBS, Lionsgate, Starz and the BBC.
Internet news agency CNET said YouTube was expected to announce the agreement to bring more professional content to the site later Thursday.
It said the YouTube plan calls for “a redesign of its website to create separate areas for professionally made content” and user-generated video.
The studios and YouTube would reportedly share advertising revenue. CNET said the studios will control advertising for the films shown on YouTube.
The move by YouTube is its latest attempt to bring more professional content to the site known for its amateur videos and to generate revenue.
YouTube already has agreements with MGM, CBS and Lionsgate, but they concern the hosting of only a few shows from their vast archives.
Earlier this month, Universal Music Group and YouTube announced plans to launch a music video website, VEVO.com, featuring artists from the world’s largest music company.
Google purchased YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion and has been searching for ways to translate its immense popularity into a money-making venture.
YouTube has been facing increasing competition from services such as iTunes and websites such as Hulu, a partnership between NBC Universal and News Corp.’s Fox, which air full-length television shows.
Google chief executive Eric Schmidt declined during a conference call with analysts on Thursday to comment on the reports that YouTube was close to a deal with top Hollywood studios.
But he did say to expect an announcement “very, very soon.”