Both companies are trying to catch up with rivals via the move. MGM has lagged behind other film studios in moving its offerings online. YouTube is still seen by advertisers as a collection of home movies, whereas rival NBC-Fox joint venture Hulu offers only content from major production houses. CBS already has a deal with YouTube and is posting episodes of older shows such as "Star Trek" there.
YouTube also started off on the wrong foot with many of the top studios, which see it as an outlet for pirated content. Viacom sued YouTube in 2007 over copyright infringement for US$1 billion, in a case that is still pending.
Along with full shows and movies, the deal would also bring clips from MGM releases including "Legally Blonde" to YouTube. MGM is also the producer of the new James Bond film "Quantum of Solace," and the upcoming Tom Cruise film "Valkyrie," but there was no indication of if or when they might be available online.