YouTube given nod to show full-length movies

YOUTUBE has reached agreement with Sony Pictures and other Hollywood studios to show full-length movies and TV shows on the video-sharing website.

TechCrunch, a well-connected Silicon Valley blog, said other studios and media companies which have agreed to allow their content to be posted for free on the Google-owned site include Metro Goldwyn Mayer, CBS, Lionsgate, Starz and the BBC.

Internet news agency CNET said YouTube was today expected to announce the agreement to bring more professional content to the site.

It said the YouTube plan calls for "a redesign of its website to create separate areas for professionally made content'' and user-generated video.

The studios and YouTube would reportedly share advertising revenue.

CNET said the studios will control advertising for the films shown on YouTube.

Earlier this month, Universal Music Group and YouTube announced plans to launch a music video website,, featuring artists from the world's largest music company.

Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $US1.65 billion ($2.3 billion) dollars and has been searching for ways to translate its immense popularity into a money-making venture.

YouTube has been facing increasing competition from services such as iTunes and websites such as Hulu, a partnership between NBC Universal and News Corp's Fox, which air full-length television shows.