Report: YouTube may usher in Hollywood stars

Video-sharing site and a Hollywood talent agency are reportedly in talks to bring top-notch actors to the online screen, according to <i>The New York Times</i>.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto

YouTube reportedly wants the William Morris Agency to make it a star.

The video-sharing site is reportedly close to clinching a deal with the William Morris Agency, in which the talent agency's clients would create videos for YouTube, according to a report Thursday in The New York Times.

The deal apparently would give William Morris Agency clients an ownership stake in videos they create for YouTube, and, in return, YouTube would receive professionally produced videos, according to the Times report.

For YouTube and its owner Google, the question is whether such efforts will eventually generate advertising revenue.

YouTube and Hollywood have been increasing been playing nice, as evidenced by a deal struck back in November, under which Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios plans to post full-length films on YouTube.

YouTube and Google have previously engaged in verbal sparing with Hollywood, over accusations of copyright infringement on the YouTube site. However, the two camps have recently sought middle ground, as each tries to leverage what the other can offer.

Hollywood has the top content, and YouTube has become a distribution channel that cannot be ignored.

According to Wikipedia, some of the agency's top talent includes Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, Natalie Portman, Clint Eastwood, and Jackie Chan.