YouTube's movie deal with Paramount could contribute more than content to the video site's library. While the movie-rental deal with a fifth major Hollywood studio adds 500 new titles to its expanding online library, it also contributes audience segment data to augment targeted ads.
The Paramount deal brings YouTube's rental library to nearly 9,000 titles. For example, Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" will take its place among other movies available through on-demand streaming agreements with Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Studios.
Rentals will out-price most rentals on Google Play: $3.99 for new releases and $2.99 for older movies, with $1 more for high-def content. Titles will generally become available to rent for 48 hours.
No sign of Google allowing viewers to download movie content from YouTube. There are many possible reasons, ranging from licensing fees to piracy, but Mahi de Silva, executive vice president of consumer mobile at Opera Software, said streaming versus the download and sales of movies benefits Google and license holders.
For example, de Silva points to a handful of publishers that developed methods for building anonymous consumer profiles based on streaming music. "The correlation is interesting between the consumers' lifestyle patterns, location and affinity to certain genres of music," he said. "Streaming enables the platform providers to partner with record labels more effectively to monetize content, though they know many consumers don't pay for the music. But if they subscribe to a channel, the labels can promote other music."
Streaming allows content providers and music labels to drive monetization through ad revenue or premium services. It gives the music labels access to an audience they otherwise don't have, de Silva said. "Using some of the same tools for music platforms, I expect companies that manage streaming media will also build out similar tools and systems to create a new economy to stream video," he said.