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Summary:

In the first big network content coup it’s gotten in a long time, YouTube got access to some full-length episodes of old CBS shows today. The shows — five episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 (the original), five episodes of MacGyver, five episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, and 14 episodes of The Young and the Restless — will be accompanied much more advertising than YouTube has ever shown on a per video basis, including controversial (for YouTube) pre-roll ads.

Updated. In the first big network content coup it’s gotten in a long time, YouTube got access to some full-length episodes of old CBS shows today. The shows — five episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 (the original), five episodes of MacGyver, five episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, and 14 episodes of The Young and the Restless — will be accompanied by much more advertising than YouTube has ever shown on a per-video basis, including controversial (for YouTube) pre-roll ads.

While this is a concession for YouTube on multiple fronts, it’s an opportunity for the site to show it can bring its huge audience to these full episodes to start building a good reputation among networks.

CBS is the TV network most open to making syndication deals for its content. However, regular members of its Audience Network get a far better deal than YouTube, with full episodes of current shows being syndicated to TidalTV, blinkx, Joost, Veoh and others. Actually, anyone who uses a social network can add to their profile page current full episodes of CBS shows through a distribution deal with iWidgets. Update: The initial iWidgets release I linked to was actually incorrect, I’m told; iWidgets only has clips, not full episodes.

And I’m not even sure that any of the content YouTube got today is exclusive. You can find more than 100 full episodes of MacGyver on Veoh, for example.

As for the advertising, when I looked just now, a 46-minute episode of Beverly Hills 90210 on YouTube has a 15-second pre-roll ad for CBS’ Amazing Race Elimination Station that is played again in-stream (yes, the same exact ad) five more times over the course of the video. It’s totally different than what we regular YouTube viewers are accustomed to — usually if any in-stream advertising is shown, it’s a single overlay ad per video, and viewers must click on the overlay before any ad actually interrupts their stream.

YouTube has long said pre-roll ads were too intrusive for its audience, but over the last year it started to indicate that it might be open to new formats.

  1. They have in-stream ad markers on the long form player. The overlay seems to be clickable link on the in-stream ad. Did you see other forms of overlay.

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  2. [...] support the effort, Google is also experimenting with advertising [see NewTeeVee]. The content will be  supported with pre-, mid-, and post-roll ads. YouTube will get a revenue [...]

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  3. If TV networks insist on so many ads in their YouTube videos, people will simply watch other YouTube videos. Longform content has less of an advantage in a medium that favors the quantization of information.

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  4. [...] not contextual advertising. But YouTube also naysayed pre-rolls for most of its life before rolling them out on Friday. It’s actually a little strange that YouTube and Google didn’t do this [...]

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  5. [...] scale, there are the YouTube ads that may not be good at selling products and are almost sure to annoy users.  And advertisers won’t be happy if they lose clicks due to something else Carlson covered: [...]

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  6. [...] in line with the vibe we’ve been getting from YouTube, where they’re casting their recent win of full-length CBS TV episodes as the first of many premium content deals in the pipe. [...]

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  7. [...] Un po’ come è già accaduto con la CBS, che di recente ha stretto una partnership con YouTube per la trasmissione di episodi integrali di alcune serie televisive (da Beverly Hills [...]

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  8. [...] Un po’ come è già accaduto con la CBS, che di recente ha stretto una partnership con YouTube per la trasmissione di episodi integrali di alcune serie televisive (da Beverly Hills [...]

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  9. [...] Run longer stuff that will theoretically appeal to advertisers. Like, say, indie movies. Or shows from CBS. And now, a handful of movies from the MGM library, starring the likes of Chuck Norris (Bulletproof [...]

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  10. [...] that is so prevalent on YouTube. In order to change that, the video giant has been locking up deals with CBS to offer full-length episodes of TV programs and MGM to offer full-length movies on the [...]

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