YouTube will move forward a little, announcing an agreement to show some full-length television shows and films from MGM, the financially troubled 84-year-old film studio.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios will kick off the partnership by posting episodes of its decade-old “American Gladiators” program to YouTube, along with full-length action films like “Bulletproof Monk” and “The Magnificent Seven” and clips from popular movies like “Legally Blonde.” These will be free to watch, with ads running alongside the video.
The initial lineup may not be all that compelling, but for YouTube, which is owned by Google, the relationship with MGM is a crucial step in an essential reinvention. YouTube had its debut in 2005 and quickly became famous for the democratic sharing of bite-size video clips. Users love the site — 81 million people visited in September alone, according to Nielsen.