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Welcome to Reality, Lionsgate, Pleased to Have You Here

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Well, this deserves its own post. Lionsgate is making far too much sense for a company in the movie industry. It’s scaring the crap out of me, frankly. Here’s the story: they’ve made a deal with YouTube. Rather than fighting to get clips of their films taken down, they’re going to monetize the clips. They’re going to have their own YouTube channel and let people share, embed, upload and mash up clips. That’s what the Variety article says.

Pause here for a moment. Upload? That’s fascinating. So does that mean they’ll let you upload a clip from a Lionsgate movie if it’s uploaded to their channel so it can be monetized? That seems fair enough. And as for mashup–does that mean they’ll let you download and then re-upload your new version? If so…wow. This covers film and television programs. Now, users don’t get free reign. If something’s still in cinemas, clips will be removed. But that’s perfectly reasonable.

[ad#longpost]Check this quote out from Curt Marvis, Lionsgate’s president of digital media: “(The partnership) grew out of discussions about claiming — the process of getting content off YouTube. But if there’s an audience for our content, it was like, ‘Wait a minute. Let’s not put our heads in the sands here. Let’s give them what they want and get revenue from it.'”

Holy crap. That sounded like somebody at a studio thinking? I’m floored. Wait. He’s not done: “We’re trying to be as progressive as we can be as opposed to shutting them down. That didn’t seem to work very well for the music industry.”

This is me, gobsmacked. Not only do they use common sense but they learn from others’ mistakes? Curt Marvis, I want to buy you some coffee. In fact, I think I’ll send you some. Seriously. Update: Done.

Anyway, YouTube is trying to work out deals with other studios. And that will depend on what money Lionsgate sees from this. Basically they’re trying to take the 300 million uniques that YouTube gets and harness them so that they’re making money off of clips instead of spending money trying to get them removed. The “Time of My Life” video from Dirty Dancing? 4.8 million views. And you’ll be able to purchase the movie or the television show from the clip. What an audience.

Now, you have to remember: while this seems like completely basic rational thinking to you and me, Hollywood doesn’t usually think rationally. They drive franchises into the ground with crap remakes and horrible stories and then brush their hands off and go, ‘Yes, well, Star Trek’s just tired. People don’t want Star Trek anymore. Time for something new.’ And insert superhero movies, or R-rated films, or sci-fi or anything where I put Star Trek and you’ll probably be fairly accurate. Lionsgate treating you, their customers, like fans instead of felons, is a breath of fresh air. Granted, the way this thing gets rolled out might be completely botched…but if they’re smart, they’ll work it and refine it and make money instead of pissing a lot of people off. They get points for at least trying to be smart.

The only criticism I would have is…it took you how long to figure out that embeddable videos are free advertising? Geez.


  • I agree with you and I don’t know why studios didn’t think of this earlier. It’s going to happen anyway so you might as well profit off it instead of spending money to get rid of the videos.

  • I’ve been wondering when someone was going to use youtube for the forces of good/personal gain. Besides ok go. You know, the treadmill guys. I’ve always wondered about youtube, it’s a site that gets millions of hits a day, with practically limitless potential for publicity, and it’s free advertising. Not only is Lionsgate getting all that advertising, it’s making money. It’s like powering your car on other cars’ emmisions.