"We're more than just dogs on skateboards." YouTube plans to premiere their first * movie, Reuters says (via The Hollywood Reporter), in an apparent bid to increase revenue, reach profitability, and, perhaps, appear more appealing to advertisers. (The opening statement was made by the company's Paris-based partner development manager.) Yann Arthus-Bernard's documentary Home, produced by Luc Besson, will debut simulatenously in theaters and on YouTube, evidently in the near future.
As I'm writing this article, I'm also watching Werner Herzog's Little Dieter Needs to Fly on YouTube. (I have a 19-inch monitor adjacent to my laptop, which makes it easier to watch and work simultaneously.) The quality is good, though the commercial interruptions are jarring, the same as they are with other free, online viewing sites. The ads are played at pre-determined, timed intervals, and so often appear in the middle of a scene.
YouTube gained its fame from user-submitted content, of course, but, as Elisabeth Rappe noted last November, the video site has begun partnering with studios in order to present full-length movies -- MGM was the first. You can still easily find bootleg rips in 10-minute segments, though is quality is often atrocious and, of course, there's the important issues of legality and piracy that shouldn't be easily ignored.
Where do you stand on the subject of watching movies over the Internet on your computer? Have you embraced the concept, eagerly checking new titles added to Netflix's Watch Instantly program (or iTunes or Hulu or SnagFilms or Jaman or Amazon or ...)? Or is the very idea of viewing a film on such a small screen anathema to you?
* UPDATE: Thanks to Eric Kohn for pointing out, via Twitter, that Wayne Wang's The Princess of Nebraska had its world premiere on YouTube last year. I should have remembered, since Eugene Novikov wrote about it for this very site.