updated 03:30 pm EDT, Wed June 18, 2008
YouTube Full Length Videos
YouTube has begun letting companies offer videos longer than the official 10 minutes on its site, according to a memo allegedly being sent to these firms. The message gives those with official presences on the video website permission to post videos that fit within a 1GB file size cap as well as to attach advertising to those clips. The reported official move follows known experiments that have included both the release of an independent movie last year and the more recent promotional release of an episode of The Tudors.
The initiative is believed to be an attempt by YouTube and its parent company Google to generate income from videos posted on the site. Short-form clips have been YouTube's predominant format but have rarely seen significant advertising, with most firms either paying for more general advertising or being limited to periodic overlay ads as well as in-video promotions.
YouTube has faced increasing competition from TV networks and other providers that allow long-format video, including the Fox/NBC joint project Hulu as well as the BBC's iPlayer in the UK. These are smaller-scale but have had early success by providing whole videos that until now would need to be segmented for viewing on YouTube and many other sites that typically insist on short clips.
Transfer speeds for wireless users are also widely believed to be at least a minor concern, as many cellphones and handhelds lack the connection speed to reliably stream longer videos in real-time.