/ 11 October 2008

YouTube adds full-length classic TV shows

YouTube said on Friday it is adding full-length television shows to the menu at its globally popular website famous for snack-sized video snippets.

Episodes of classic television programmes including Star Trek, MacGyver and Beverly Hills 90210 will be available in a ”theatre view” format unveiled at YouTube.

”We are starting to test full-length programming on YouTube, beginning with some fan favourites requested by you,” the Google-owned website said in a message posted online.

”Our new full-length format, in conjunction with the launch of our new player, marks an exciting milestone for YouTube as we continue our efforts to expand user choice and improve viewer experience.”

YouTube’s ”theatre view” feature enhances inset video screens by making them larger, centring them on pages and bordering them with virtual red curtains.

Earlier this year YouTube added a ”screening room” section featuring short independent films from around the world.

The enhancements come as Google delicately manoeuvres to begin making money from YouTube without alienating its legions of fans, who could easily switch loyalties to rival video-sharing websites such as Hulu or Daily Motion.

”As we test this new format, we also want to ensure that our partners have more options when it comes to advertising on their full-length TV shows,” YouTube said.

”You may see in-stream video ads embedded in some of these episodes; this advertising format will only appear on premium content where you are most comfortable seeing such ads.” — Sapa-AFP