Nearly two months ago, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the release of the popular 1984 sci-fi film Ghostbusters, YouTube partnered with Sony to screen the blockbuster on YouTube's site via Sony's Crackle player.
The two are teaming up once again, sharing another timeless classic--Taxi Driver-- on YouTube:
Widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, Taxi Driver paints a dark, gritty, and at times violent portrait of a lonely man in the urban jungle. Now, courtesy of our friends at Crackle, you can watch the entire film on YouTube through next Sunday, October 18.
Despite that eight different advertisements appear in the film, the fact that "Taxi Driver" will only be available on the site for about the same length of time that "Ghostbusters" was made available, one cannot help but wonder what is Sony's intention behind theses bursts of content sharing. Certainly the ads pull in some revenue for Sony, but nothing considerable enough to warrant the screening.
It could either be an experiment or general goodwill on Sony's part.
Curiously, clicking on the old link to "Ghostbusters" leads to an error that reads, "This video is private." Could Sony be preparing to bring this and other films onto YouTube as a permanent films section of the site? What would such a partnership entail? Would Sony be seeking any sort of profits from such a venture, or would it simply be trying to direct more users to its Crackle site?
Everybody is clear on the fact that the Internet has drastically affected all forms of entertainment, and film is not immune. Where the industry is going exactly, however, it's too early to tell.
It's all speculation right now, but until we know for certain, let's all enjoy the feature presentation.