YouTube in Hulu territory

YouTube Biz Blog: Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and CNN Clips Coming to YouTube

The flexibility we provide partners in monetizing their content was a key factor in Time Warner’s decision to come to YouTube. You’ll see a variety of ad formats (like overlays or in-stream ads) on their content, depending on the kind of video you’re watching, and both Turner and Warner Bros. will be able to leverage the strength of their sales forces to sell their own ads on the site. We will also be integrating the Time Warner player into YouTube.com.

So Google is getting deeper into Hulu’s territory of licensing tv shows, but doing it in a way that’s more self-serve. Where Hulu controls the ads, YouTube empowers the company that owns the show to sell the ads for itself. This is typical of Google’s identity, in the sense that they always prefer to be doing code rather than content. I imagine that content providers are also taking on the risk of unsold ad inventory, which means Turner and WB are committed to the business rather than dabbling.