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YouTube to show Sony's "Ghostbusters" this week for film's 25th anniversary

August 13, 2009 |  5:43 pm
Ghostbusters
"Ghostbusters" from 1984: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. Credit: Sony Pictures

YouTube and Sony are crossing the streams.

YouTube is now hosting a weeklong showing of Sony's comedy classic "Ghostbusters" in honor of the film's 25th anniversary.

Oddly, when the film plays for seven days on the world's No. 1 online video site, it will be not be in a YouTube player. It will instead be piped in through Sony's Crackle player, which will be embedded on the site.

That's a considerable departure* for YouTube, whose brand has for years been synonymous with its trademark square video player, with big buttons and a small screen.

That YouTube is allowing a major Hollywood studio to plop down a foreign video player in the middle of its site is the latest sign that the platform has become more receptive to the entertainment industry's advances. For some time, YouTube has been keen on moving away from its early reputation for amateur content and unauthorized clips from TV shows -- in part because there's no money in those areas.

Sony is currently developing Ghostbusters 3. L.A. Times Hero Complex blogger Geoff Boucher spoke with Dan Aykroyd about the film in May. 

The showing, which will appear in a 16x9 aspect ratio at "high quality" resolution (as opposed to YouTube's league-leading jumbo HD player) will feature seven or eight in-stream commercials. The revenue will be shared between partners Sony and YouTube, with the studio taking the majority of the proceeds.

-- David Sarno

*Corrected, 10:26 p.m.: YouTube has been featuring Crackle-powered videos for several months, so the departure happened a while ago while the Tech Blog wasn't looking.

Follow my variable-rate stream of tech and culture-related musings on Twitter: @dsarno

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