YouTube Goes To Hollywood, Er… Sundance

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As most of the world knows, Google-owned YouTube is all about the little guy. It’s an online enterprise that’s made its fame breaking through the mainstream and giving the underdog (read: non-famous person) a chance – even if the result is 10 hours of videos featuring a marginally talented cat. So, it was no real surprise when YouTube announced its foray into the indie film market.

With streaming movies becoming the new frontier in movie watching, YouTube couldn’t help but jump in on the action. Recently, the online video giant partnered with five independent films from the Sundance Film Festival for its debut into the land of streaming movies. Ten days, 2,684 views and $3.99 per download later – YouTube had its first movie opening, netting $10,709.16. Not a terrible way to make cash in 10 days, but perhaps, for YouTube, not the best way to bring in revenue.[more]

Or is it? Netflix currently has 6 million customers watching streaming movies, and all signs seem to indicate this trend will continue. Because really, who even wants to wait a day or two to receive a DVD in the mail anymore? This is the land of instant gratification. Soon, we may all view our movies streaming online.

And let’s be honest, YouTube built an entire brand on creating cult followings. Offering downloads of indie, low budget and first-time filmmaker movies would only continue a niche that has worked incredibly well for the company in the past. The omnipresent every person supported by billions of others who just can’t get enough. YouTube may, in fact, be on to something here.

Only time will tell. At this point, there’s no rental page on the YouTube site, but the company does promise to continue offering films for download. Ultimately, it will be independent people who determine if they want to stream independent films. YouTube sees a connection there.

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