YouTube to expand professional video content duration

LONDON - YouTube, the Google-owned video-sharing site, is planning to allow professional content owners to distribute long-form videos on its site for the first time - part of moves aimed at ramping up its ad revenue from the site.

Currently, YouTube allows professional content partners, which includes BBC Worldwide, to post content that lasts up to 10 minutes.

However, according to reports, Google has contacted its content partners in a memo that reads: "You now will be able to upload and monetise videos in your account that are longer than 10 minutes. This feature is exclusively for partners. Independent film makers that partner with us will now be able to upload their feature films on our site."

Google's thinking, according to reports, is that by offering longer clips, content providers will be able to carry more ads. YouTube sells ads against videos uploaded by its content partners.

News of Google's plans comes days after it admitted that, almost two years after it paid $1.65bn (£848m) to buy the site, Google still has not worked out how to make money from the business.

Chairman and chief executive Eric Schmidt conceded that it had yet to transform YouTube into a significant money-spinner.