Video-sharing site wants content providers

YouTube wants to be your friend, CEO Chad Hurley told international TV execs at Mipcom on Wednesday.

The visibly nervous topper said the video-sharing website, once the bane of firms trying to prevent their content from being illegally posted, wished to form partnerships with content owners to their mutual benefit.

And he trumpeted the benefits to Stateside net CBS, which announced Friday it will offer full-length episodes of certain shows on the site in exchange for the right to sell its own ad inventory.

CBS has had its own presence on YouTube since September 2006 and has attracted nearly 85,000 subscribers and registered more than 4.3 million views for its 10-minutes clips of shows.

“I am here to say that we want to continue to be your partner, to work with you, the content owners, to make smarter and better informed decisions about managing and distributing your content,” Hurley said.

Google-owned YouTube has acquired 900 partners since Hurley’s visit to Mipcom two years ago, when its only content owner-partner was the BBC.

Hurley said YouTube had just inked with Italian toon house Panini, which follows hot on the heels of a deal with Italian pubcaster RAI on Tuesday.

He said the transition from a centralized distribution model to a decentralized one would happen even if YouTube did not exist, but that his website benefited content owners by helping them conduct market research, reach new viewers, generate extra revenue from advertising and provide better rights-management tools than could be found elsewhere.

Hurley predicted the online advertising market would grow from more than $1 billion in 2010 to some $5 billion by 2013.

“In the current economic climate, this platform provides advertisers with an affordable distribution channel and metrics to help them gauge the success of their ad campaigns and drive engagement numbers up,” he said.

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