Google online video destination site YouTube scored a solo Web date with "La Femme Nikita" director Luc Besson, premiering the director's new 90-minute environmental documentary film, "Home."
The official Google blog noted that Home will "exclusively be available online on YouTube for English, French, Spanish and German-speaking countries beginning June 5 -- just in time for the 37th World Environment Day." You can already get a preview on the Home YouTube channel.
This is a huge win for Google over Hulu, and highlights some of Hulu's major warts. For starters, Hulu is the creature of NBC Universal and News Corp.; rival film studios are unlikely to want to put money in the pockets of those fellows. Moreover, Hulu is focused on English-language programming, while YouTube (and Google) have a much more global view.
Globally, YouTube is the world's second-most searched Web site (trailing, guess who? Google) and among the top five sites visited worldwide, according to Google spokesperson Chris Dale. Registered users upload 15 hours of video per minute to the site, which gets 5.3 billion views per month. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Rupert.
Despite a slew of content deals with major movie and television studios, Dale told me YouTube intends to preserve its heritage as a home for user-generated content. So how are you going to make money on that stuff anyway? Dale said the idea that marketers are leery of advertising on UGC (user-generated content) is a "myth ... The joke is that advertisers don't like UGC."
The company also offers tools such as YouTube Insight to help marketers pinpoint how specific user demographics are interacting with content, helping determine where users are fast-forwarding or quitting on a piece of content.