YouTube Extends Video Time, Eyes TV

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Moving closer to the world of Hulu and other premium TV sites, YouTube has extended its video uploads beyond its current 15-minute limit.

"Your creativity isn't bound by a time limit, so why should your video uploads be?" says a YouTube blog released Thursday. The blog didn't offer up what -- if any -- new limits there could be. But it suggested that much longer videos -- seemingly one to two hours or more in length -- could be uploaded by users.

"So go find that movie you wrote and filmed last year and share it with the world! Or upload your son's championship high school basketball game or the insightful lecture you just gave on the emerging economics of green tech. As long as it's your original content, it's fair game regardless of length," notes the blog.

Be it dancing toddlers or acclaimed British cabaret group Fascinating Aida (shown here), YouTube is a pop-culture forum open to all. But there are some restrictions, says YouTube. Longer videos will only be available to those users who have never violated copyright rules and who have followed YouTube's community guidelines. YouTube says it is changing its limit now because it has copyright violations under control.

Although YouTube did not refer to premium TV content, analysts note that the company appears to be looking to even the playing field with sites such as Hulu, which allow viewers to typically watch regular half-hour and hour-long TV shows.

Some premium TV content owners that have deals with YouTube, such as National Geographic, are already able to upload longer videos.

Earlier this week, Netflix made a deal with Walt Disney, which will allow the mail order/streaming video rental service to offer digital streaming of current shows on ABC and ABC Family -- for example, 15 days after those TV shows' episodes originally debuted.

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