YouTube Set To Debut Movie

    June 4, 2009

YouTube is set to premiere Luc Besson’s new movie, the first time a film debuts both online and in theaters.

The move by YouTube is part of its strategy to boost ad sales and reach profitability. The Google owned property will premiere "Home" tomorrow, a movie about the environment produced by Besson, who has previously directed "The Fifth Element," "Nikita" and "Leon."

"We’re more than just dogs on skateboards," Anthony Zameczkowski, a Paris- based partner development manager for YouTube in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told Bloomberg. "With us, you have the ability to reach 350 million unique users a month."

YouTube hopes by moving away from user- generated content and focusing more on professional content it can attract more advertisers who have been hesitant to run ads alongside UGC content.

"The existing short-form model on YouTube is popular with users, but not with advertisers uncomfortable being next to content that is amateur and uncontrolled," said Clayton Moran, an analyst at New York-based Benchmark Co., who rates Google shares "buy."

More filmmakers and rights holders are turning to ad-supported sites like YouTube and Hulu to reach a broader audience while saving on marketing costs.

YouTube generates revenue from only around 3 percent of all videos on the site, in large part due to advertisers fears that some of the UGC content may violate copyright laws, according to an April report by Credit Suisse.