The YouTube Movie Experiment….Failed.

Anime buffs might recognize my above title as a little gibe in the style of Excel Saga, but it works whether you catch the reference or not. You’ll remember when we talked here, not so long ago, about YouTube’s foray into streaming video for movies with five Sundance releases.  Well, as it turns out, the ones they picked did not fare so well.  How bad was it, you ask?  Well, so bad it makes Mariah Carey’s Glitter look like James Cameron’s Avatar by comparison.  Dig the word from the crew out at the BayNewser:

After three full days, five festival titles had drawn a total of 1,422 viewers, with The Cove leading the way with 303 views. That’s a grand total of $5,673.78, which, even if filmmakers get two-thirds of the take, leaves them with only hundreds of dollars apiece.

There are kids jumping off houses who get more views than that.  Where’d it all go wrong, you wonder?  Seems the basic problem is the sheer basics.  People aren’t terribly interested in paying for YouTube, nor are they interested in committing ninety minutes to one thing.  Interestingly, though, people were able to rate the films without viewing them, and the videos pulled in a whole lot more ratings than they did viewers. The suggestion here is that this is a backlash against YouTube charging for content. Course, it might’ve helped if their first foray hadn’t been quite so esoteric.  Let’s face it, most people don’t watch SUNDANCE movies.  Sundance movies can often be dull and pretentious, with some exceptions.  You want to see how it’d really work?  Get The Hangover in there and see how that comes out.  If it’s not there already….