YouTube Goes Wide

youtube-logo52YouTube has now launched a bigger version of its video player.

“We’re expanding the width of the page to 960 pixels to better reflect the quality of the videos you create and the screens that you use to watch them,” says the YouTube Team. “This new, wider player is in a widescreen aspect ratio which we hope will provide you with a cleaner, more powerful viewing experience. And don’t worry, your 4:3 aspect ratio videos will play just fine in this new player.”

Cutting Deals With Hollywood Types
The decision to make the change is reportedly from feedback about things that users would like to change about the site indicated the need for a bigger size.

The “bigger picture” is that YouTube is going to start cutting deals with content producers–the Hollywood types. CNET News reported that YouTube will soon start offering feature films. A widescreen player makes a lot of sense for feature films.

watch_header Super Size Me – Check out the latest innovation at YouTube, the 960 pixels wide screen. The wide screen is used during their 2 hour YouTube Live ’08 show.

YouTube vs. Hulu
By choosing this route, YouTube must go head-to-head against the Web’s reigning king of streaming long-form video: Hulu.

A showdown between Hulu and the 3-year-old YouTube was inevitable. Consider that Hulu, the joint video venture formed by NBC Universal and News Corp., attracts only a fraction of the 80 million people who visit YouTube each month, but Hulu still managed to generate nearly the same revenue in its first year in business, according to reports.

YouTube is the most recognizable brand in online video so far, and clearly, they are serious about staying that way now that they are making these efforts.

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