YouTube is to start offering full length television shows in a direct challenge to the NBC/ News owned Hulu.
The initial roll out will include shows from CBS, including The Young and the Restless, 90210, Dexter and Californication. The Wall Street Journal reported YouTube saying it is in discussions with other media partners.
The lineup isn’t huge, as Adam Ostrow points out, but it’s a first step into legal free television streaming, a space currently dominated by Hulu. YouTube is the 1000 pound gorilla in the room, and should it be successful in signing more content partners, and is capable of finding advertising for that content, the Hulu team will be sleeping a little less well tonight, and in the months to come.
For viewers, it will offer real, presumably high quality content on a site they use. How they’ll accept pre, mid and post rolls though is still to be seen. We’re also going to presume that the content made available in this deal will be georetarded, so the good news is only for readers in the United States.