20th Century Fox cuts movie, TV deal with YouTube

"Prometheus" is among the movies covered in the deal.

Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox studio needs as many outlets for its movie and TV content as possible, since DVD and Blu-ray sales and rentals are falling off the cliff. So it seems reasonable that Murdoch was amenable to selling and renting his 20th Century Fox movie and TV content on Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) YouTube and Google Play portals, even though he referred to Google as the "piracy leader" when he spoke of them in January.

Another reason for the change of heart could be Google's recent announcements that it will be making it harder for pirate sites to show up in its search results.

The latest relationship is more good news for Google, more good news for online video, probably not bad news for 20th Century Fox and probably not good news for Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), which sees yet another competitor bulk up to join Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) in the battle for online viewers.

Of course, as All Things Digital points out, the whole point could be moot for everyone because "none of the digital outlets have been significant revenue generators for the studios so far."

Still, Fox is apparently willing to take a flier starting with "Prometheus," which it is running on every available digital outlet from Apple to Amazon to Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) to Sony (NYSE: SNE)… and now Google and YouTube.

A TechCrunch story added more detail to Fox's move from DVDs and Blu-rays--which are flagging--to online video, pointing out the studio is going one better than the rental model by making its online product available "a full three weeks before they hit store shelves," a move that the publication said "shows that someone recognizes that physical discs are no longer the future."

On top of that, Fox is making the digital titles available for purchase for $15 or less, which is reasonable when you figure there are no packaging, shipping or handling costs associated with putting a title online.

Since Fox has decided to pursue the digital video route and YouTube has a market, there's a good reason to go there for this initial play, although Murdoch's News Corp.  has not yet backed other Google ventures like Google TV (is that still around?) and Google Fiber.

For more:
All Things Digital has this story
TechCrunch contributed this story

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