Constantly looking for a way to have YouTube turn a profit, Google has come up with a new idea: sell the videos. Working with a few partners, the search giant is testing the ability for content producers to put videos up not only for online viewing, but for offline viewing as well through downloads. The clips would be offered as either free or paid downloads and uploaders will set the price and license for their own videos.
Google sees this being expanded beyond entertainment as well, with universities offering lectures and research videos through YouTube as downloadable content. This sounds great in theory, but there are a few problems that will have to be dealt with, such as the fact that there are already a large number of third party applications to grab content from YouTube at no cost. Moreover, the company could have a hard time attracting major content providers, as videos will apparently be available sans copy protection. On the other hand, the move could also spawn a whole new segment for video enthusiasts who want to upload original content and charge a small fee for downloads.