Google (GOOG) video site YouTube is close to signing a deal with Hollywood talent agency William Morris Agency in an effort bring more professionally-produced — and advertising-friendly — content to the site.
Google bought YouTube for $1.6 billion in 2006, and while the site’s traffic rules all, Google’s had a hard time selling ads against the YouTube’s user-generated content due to questions of propriety and copyright.
As a result, the YouTube ends up serving ads against videos uploaded by “partners” — about 3% of the site’s content.
Meanwhile, News Corp and NBC Universal Web video joint venture Hulu, which repurposes TV shows and movies, can show ads against everything it streams.
William Morris Agency has clients like Denzel Washington, Russell Crow, JJ Abrams and Michael Bay. But William Morris also has lots of less-famous people as clients too. Web video personality Julia Allison, for example, shopped her reality TV show through the agency last summer. Now Julia and two of her friends have a show on NextNewNetworks called TMI Weekly. That’s the kind of content we expect to see on YouTube after its deal with William Morris. Here’s their latest show:
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