YouTube has begun offering full length television shows, the Google owned video site said Friday.
Following last week’s launch of the new “theater view” option for viewing videos, select content partners can make full length episodes of programming available on their channels. There will be advertising on the videos and a revenue sharing agreement between the content provider and YouTube, though details were not immediately available.
CBS is one of the first media companies to take advantage of the opportunity, making the season premieres of Showtime’s Dexter and Californication available, as well as classic episodes of Star Trek, Beverly Hills 90210 and Macgyver, among others. While CBS may be the most high profile content provider to add full length video so far, the opportunity would be available for other networks that have a deal with the site.
The move also marks a shift in YouTube's advertising structure. The CBS programs feature pre-roll and interstitial ads, a first for the site, which has been slow to implement video ads, preferring instead to use overlay advertising. YouTube announced plans to use post-roll advertising in the last week, and has also started referring users to retail stores such as Apple iTunes in an effort to shore up additional revenue streams.
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