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Your favorite movie moments are now on YouTube,(s GOOG) thanks to a partnership with Movieclips that’s adding tens of thousands of short-form Hollywood clips to the site. As part of the partnership, Movieclips has launched a channel page on the site and will also provide clips on YouTube’s Movies channel as a way to entice users to rent films through the streaming VOD service.
For the Movieclips founders, the deal is indicative of Hollywood’s growing acceptance of YouTube as a legitimate platform for distribution of its movies and clips. “It was a really opportune time for us to do a deal with YouTube,” co-founder Rich Raddon said in a phone interview. “There’s been a shift in the way big media companies are working with YouTube.”
His co-founder, Zach James, said he believes part of that shift came with YouTube’s involvement with Vevo, the online music video distributor that launched in the winter of 2009. That deal showed that YouTube could command premium CPMs and nudge YouTube viewers into converting on purchases.
Now Movieclips has the chance to be part of the funnel that will drive viewers to shell out for videos on the YouTube Movies channel, by offering up featured scenes from movies that are available for rent. For instance, if you check out the rental page for Being John Malkovich, Movieclips provides a playlist of “Movie Extras” (like the one embedded below) as a way to remind fans of all the best scenes:
Adding Movieclips to YouTube will have the added benefit of adding high-quality clips from most of the major Hollywood studios to the online-video site. While studios can claim user-uploaded clips through YouTube’s Content ID system and place ads on them, no one else to date has done the work to license popular movie content for short clips like these.
More importantly, no one has gone through the laborious process of adding the type of metadata needed to easily find those videos in search results. That’ll help drive more traffic not just to Movieclips videos but potentially to rentals that viewers want to watch.
Movieclips already has about 15,000 video clips available as YouTube Movie Extras and on its own channel. But according to the founders, that’s just a quarter of the content they expect to have available once they’re done uploading clips. In addition to sharing advertising revenues with YouTube, Movieclips will have affiliate links to movies for sale and rental on iTunes (s AAPL) or Amazon.(s AMZN) YouTube will also have links to rentals on its own site.
Movieclips recently secured a new round of financing. The $7 million round was led by MK Capital and included previous investors Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital, Richmond Park Partners, Jeff Clavier, Naval Ravikant, Jeff Kearl and Tom McInerney. Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise and Gordon Rubenstein also participated. Movieclips had previously raised $3 million in a Series A funding round last November.