One of the great stories to emerge from Sundance was the story of the YouTube press conference.
YouTube put on this big press conference to announce their streaming service by which they showed a half a dozen big-at-Sundance movies for a whopping four bucks a pop. And they got through their opening remarks, they were about to introduce their featured filmmakers, when suddenly, the staff of the building in which they were holding the press conference promptly booted them all out.
Robert Redford wanted the room.
The process of film distribution is approximately the same as it was twenty to thirty years ago, with some minor changes and a few additional names installed where there were none before. YouTube, meanwhile, wants to change the system from the inside out to make it work toward its own strengths, and this is understandable enough.
But YouTube, despite backing from Google, may not be big enough to take on the entire film world singlehandedly. That’s not to say it may not be able to pull it off in the future, but for right now, YouTube is relatively limited by its inability to fight an entire system at once.