Monday, March 14, 2016

Paramount opens their vault to YouTube. Will other studios follow suit?

(embedded above: all of Masters of the Universe! For free!)

Major movie studios are usually extremely protective of their copyrights and lead the charge against video piracy. So it comes as a surprise that Paramount Pictures has opened up a great deal of their film archive for consumption on YouTube.

The Paramount Vault channel, which opened about a year ago, includes over 100 films from the studio's history. These movies are free to stream, with ad breaks interspersed roughly every 15 minutes. These types of studio archive-sponsored YouTube channels tend only to include older, black-and-white films, the Paramount Vault has a few comparatively recent movies as well, like the Wachowskis' directorial debut Bound and 2009 Australian horror movie The Loved Ones.

The quality of the films included is all over the place (we don't have any expectations for American Ninja), but Paramount's willingness to release all these movies into the wild is a good sign for an open future of film distribution. We're happy knowing that The Man from Rio Grande is available for anyone with a phone within a few seconds for no cost.

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