MGM and YouTube announced a partnership on Monday to bring full-length MGM movies and programming to YouTube. The deal kicks off on a pretty lackluster note, admittedly – MGM is offering two dedicated channels: “Impact” is a “high-octane action” VOD channel (according to MGM, of course), and the “American Gladiators” channels shows, you guessed it, highlights and episodes from the “show that took America by storm.” Right now “Impact” will mainly show clips designed to garner viewers to MGM’s “Impact” channel on Comcast. MGM’s new release clams that the channel will host clips from MGM action flicks like “Rocky,” “Ronin,” “Legally Blonde,” and “The Magnificent Seven” (which of these things doesn’t belong?), clips from MGM action shows, and a few full-length movies (“Bulletproof Monk,” anyone?).
Co-President of MGM Worldwide Television Jim Packer says that “Our agreement with YouTube opens the door to a number of themed broadband channels that will both serve the consumers’ growing appetite for entertainment media consumption in the digital space and ‘on demand’ space.”
While this announcement doesn’t seem all that exciting yet (since it is mainly just a vehicle for MGM to hawk their Comcast channel), it’s refreshing to see a studio realize the trememdous audience potential of YouTube; this in unlike Viacom, for example, who are still involved in an embittered struggle with YouTube over copyright infringement. I’d argue that lawsuits like Viacom’s come across as petty to viewers who are coming to expect free, easily-available programming at their fingertips.
So despite MGM’s offering coming across as a little stale in its available programming, it’s another step forward for viewers.