Big news from YouTube this week - it was announced that the site will be launching a new section, dedicated to television episodes and feature length films. This is a huge departure from the user generated content model the site originally evangelized, including the 'Broadcast Yourself' tag line it still maintains. Given the fact that Google owns YouTube, coupled with the staggering traffic the site generates, we had to expect they would continue to innovate the monetization strategy.
This change will position Google to attract significantly more advertising dollars within the entertainment vertical. Google is also working with Universal Music to stream music videos from VEVO. It's reported the two companies will share ad revenue from this venture. As of now, Google hasn't indicated that users will have to pay for these services.
While the obvious driver behind this innovation is revenue, you can't argue that it's pushing the web in exciting directions. But you also have to wonder, if primary social media sites are eventually converted to brand channel sites, will the opportunity for consumer generated content diminish in the shadows of business plans? Twitter has yet to unveil their own revenue model - one way or another, the site needs to generate dollars, but hopefully, not to the detriment of the user base, who has found a tremendous freedom and community in it's application.