MGM Finally Gets In The Digital Game With YouTube Deal

Back in May, we noted that MGM’s omission from iTunes’ big “day-and-date” DVD and digital download release announcement illustrated how MGM was out of the digital game. Very few of the studio’s new titles are available on iTunes or for streaming in their entirety on Hulu.

Well, today MGM became sufficiently major enough to be the “major studio” YouTube was on the verge of inking a deal with last week to start streaming full-length movies and TV shows. In the wake of today’s announcement, much of the media has complained that many of MGM’s major titles, like Legally Blonde and the Rocky films, aren’t available in their entirety.

But we think the agreement is a major step forward for MGM. It gets the studio into the digital game by putting its content on a well-known video-streaming site. And Hulu may have an impressive selection of TV shows (and movies) now, but a number of Universal and 20th Century Fox’s newest hits are still only available in clip form—like The Break-Up, Juno, The Devil Wears Prada, Live Free or Die Hard, The Simpsons Movie, Office Space and all of the X-Men and Fantastic Four films—no doubt because of concerns of cannibalising DVD sales.

And we wouldn’t be surprised if some of MGM’s recent and upcoming releases like College, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and even Quantum of Solace and Valkyrie do end up being streamed on YouTube once they hit DVD.

In fact, an MGM spokesman confirmed that the studio does plan to launch anywhere from 5-10 additional channels oriented around different niches, which could be unveiled in the next 18 months. With these extra channels, more full-length films will become available.

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