YouTube previews Sundance for pay

Mitchell Hartman Jan 22, 2010
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YouTube previews Sundance for pay

Mitchell Hartman Jan 22, 2010
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Bill Radke: The Sundance Film Festival is underway in Park City, Utah. And if you don’t have an invitation, go online. YouTube has announced it’s offering full-length Sundance feature films for rent. Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman has that story.


Child 1: She’s not gone, stop saying that.

Child 2: She is gone.

Child 1: I don’t believe in that . . .

Mitchell Hartman: Mom is gone — she got abducted by these thuggy Wall Street types. But you can find her on YouTube, in the film “Children of Invention.” It’s one of five films available for rent on the site, beginning today. The fee is $4.

Jonathan Taplin: It’s absolutely no different whatsoever than renting a movie from iTunes or from Amazon UnBox or Netflix.

And that’s part of the point for YouTube, says Jonathan Taplin of the USC Annenberg School. The site needs more polished content to attract advertisers.

Taplin: Advertisers are more comfortable where they know exactly what the content is. Whereas potentially putting your ad next to a cat video or, you konw, something like that is maybe not as interesting.

What’s likely to be more interesting is high-profile films from Sundance, says Caroline McCarthy of CNET.

Caroline McCarthy: They have the opportunity to look like they have indie cred, but then also to make these inroads with the big film industry.

McCarthy says YouTube eventually wants to offer mainstream Hollywood films as well.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

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