Sony's Crackle expands movie lineup

The site, which competes with Hulu, is targeting men aged 18 to 34 with a now-heftier list of full-length films. What's unclear is whether the same flicks will head to YouTube.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy

Crackle, the video site owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, has expanded its feature film lineup, which means that you can now watch "Groundhog Day" or "Spider-Man 2" at the office, if your boss isn't looking.

Crackle now hosts "nearly 100" full-length features, according to a release, and "dozens more" are on the way. There's also a pop-culture trivia game called "Crackle Cinemactive."

What's not clear is whether these movies will soon be on their way to YouTube, where Sony is one of a number of content partners that will be bringing TV and movies to the Google-owned video-sharing site. YouTube has agreed to use a Crackle player when showing Sony content, and Crackle will get a cut of the ad revenue.

Sony launched Crackle two years ago, a year after it acquired video site Grouper for $65 million. Unlike bigger video hub Hulu, a joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp., Crackle has a target audience: men ages 18 to 34. That's what Sony hopes will make it more advertiser-friendly.

"Our movie lineup is unmatched online," Eric Berger, Sony Pictures Television's senior vice president of digital content, said in a release. "These are the movies that matter for guys 18 to 34, and this is the next step in creating our direct-to-consumer network."