Google continues to strengthen its position in the entertainment industry by building up tools, such as YouTube, to support streaming video across online, television and mobile. Next week, the company will hold an intimate gathering in Hollywood to highlight research, the evolution of movie consumption, and how studios are streamlining theatrical releases to accommodate changes occurring online and in mobile.
YouTube's lean-back approach to content began more than a year ago. To make content easier to find, YouTube will continually tweak the format to add more categories such as live broadcasts, theatrical releases and user-generated clips. Adding theatrical releases from movie studios has also been a focus during the past few years, confirms a Google spokesperson: "We want YouTube to be the destination for video, and that means both user-generated content from creators, and premium content."
The obvious next step for YouTube, which Google has been highlighting, will be serving hours of professionally produced programming weekly. The content will not only stream online, but across Google TV channels and mobile.
Creators upload more than 35 hours of video to YouTube every minute, but adding premium channels has been a strategy in the works for about two years. To further that move, YouTube acquired Next New Networks, a Web video production company that helps video creators distribute their films. The video site already proved it can create a forum for political conversations by supporting interviews with U.S. President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).
The company also acquired Green Parrot Pictures, a digital video technology company founded by Associate Professor Anil Kokaram at the Engineering School of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. And, YouTube launched the YouTube Creator Institute in partnership with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and Columbia College of Chicago.
Live concert broadcasts could also point to YouTube becoming more than a video destination site, noting the airing of the Duran Duran concert as part of its Unstaged concert series, presented in partnership with American Express and VEVO.
Google will also monetize the content. Its DoubleClick Ad Exchange last month began testing in-stream video ads on YouTube, allowing buyers at a handful of companies to use real-time bidding technology to purchase ads. The plan to eventually expand to other sites and platforms across the Web should give advertisers access to better inventory.
Google also leased 14,465 square feet of office space in Beverly Hills to support its entertainment division.