Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube property is gearing up to become even more TV friendly, as the company continues to push the video-sharing Website toward becoming a full broadcast platform.
YouTube Nov. 23 partnered with Walt Disney Studios to offer consumers movies from Disney, Disney??ÃPixar and DreamWorks Studios, adding to the thousands of full-length feature films from major Hollywood studios that already are available for rent through YouTube's movie channel.
Disney titles include such classics as "Alice in Wonderland," as well as popular newer flicks such as "Cars" and "Cars 2" and all four of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.
That isn't all YouTube is doing to stimulate interest in its longer-form offerings. The Website is also retooling its homepage behind the scenes to become more of a TV guide, according to Google Operating System and Ghacks.net, which provides instructions on how to get the new homepage with a cookie.
Users may filter videos from their subscriptions, social networks and their account, as well as browse popular channels and a list of recommended channels from the homepage. If that sounds a lot like the current Google TV user experience, it's no coincidence.
The company expects YouTube to be one of the core content sources for Google TV users, ideally to help people consume several hours' worth of video content on the Website instead of just a handful of short-form clips.
To help this effort, Google recently retooled YouTube in the Google TV "Honeycomb" upgrade to make it more social and more TV-guide like. Google said users can easily watch their YouTube subscriptions from their HDTV and quickly access playlists like Watch Later and Favorites.
"If you have your own channel, you can now add videos to it from your Google TV," explained Google TV software engineers Wiktor Gworek and Bartosz Leper.
"So whether you're a newshound wanting a constant stream of world events or you're a curator in search of an even more endless summer of content, you can sit back on your comfy couch and enjoy YouTube's thousands of options in the High Definition brilliance of your Google TV."
If Google can get more of its YouTube users consuming hours of content via Google TV sets, it should be able to realize significant profit from serving plenty of ads. TV is, after all, the ultimate ad-serving platform.
Google TV and YouTube together will also help Google compete with Apple, Amazon and other Web content providers. Apple is expected to deliver a full Web TV in 2012.