Google has decided to combine YouTube features with Google Maps to show Luc Besson’s and Yann-Arthus Betrand’s 90 minute full-length film “Home.” It’ll be available online on YouTube for English, French, Spanish, and German–speaking countries beginning June 5 — just in time for the 37th World Environment Day.
Displaying aerial camerawork, the film aims to give people a glimpse of our planet and visually demonstrate the urgency for preservation efforts. In addition to its Internet premiere, Google says, “Home” will be shown in movie theaters and outdoors on big screens at key locations around the globe.
The YouTube show seems to be strategically planned, to provide some respite to the ailing online video site. These days, YouTube is struggling to become a commercially viable property. Google had paid $1.65 billion for YouTube in 2006. But now after two years, Google is losing as much as $1.65 million a day on the Web’s most popular video site, estimates Internet Evolution. (Read: Google’s Expensive Pastime: YouTube)
With an aim to earn some significant amount of money to prove its viability, YouTube has been joining hands with other big players. Its tie-up with Universal Music Group (UMG) to offer a blended service, VEVO is the recent one.
Also, YouTube is facing some serious competition from new players like Hulu and others. Though online videos are gaining popularity, many big players from the entertainment segment are quite aggressive in this emerging market. They’re Fox, Viacom, Turner, Disney, and a few others.
Now, film shows on YouTube is among the steps that Google wants to take in the cutthroat environment, in which traditional entertainment players are quite active. So the film “Home” will also air on TV stations around the world.
YouTube channels in English, French, Spanish, and German will feature behind-the-scenes looks from the making of the “Home” film, as well as interviews, and extras. Also, Google Maps is featuring specially created layers that shed more light on some of the material covered in the movie. According to Google, you can also use Maps to find a theater location near you.
To get a preview of the June 5 show, you can see some footage in the Home YouTube channel.