Google yesterday unveiled the product of an agreement with the likes of Crackle, CBS, MGM, Lionsgate and Starz and others: A Shows tab on the YouTube that brings with it thousands of television episodes and hundreds of movies.
Unfortunately it all comes at a price. The company announced via the same blog post that, as of this week, users will start to notice the wider roll-out of in-stream ads, which the company has been testing since October. Basically, in order to make it worth the media companies while offering the content for free, YouTube has to implement the kind of ads (unskippable might we add) to support the shows and movies.
This is the kind of news that could spell trouble for Hulu, which has always taken a different route to YouTube by offering commercial-supported episodes of TV shows for free as well as movies from the likes of Fox and NBC.
While the addition of ads was sort of inevitable (the complete removal of pirated content would mean fewer users, which Google definitely doesn’t want), we can’t help but groan at this necessary evil.
YouTube is currently only offering the shows in the United States (which explains why I can’t see them) but will be rolling them out to other countries “as soon as possible.”