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Google's YouTube Signing Smaller Partnerships: N.Y. Times

Google may be frustrated in efforts to reach comprehensive deals with major media companies such as NBC or Viacom to put their videos on YouTube, but it is signing up hundreds of smaller media partners, The New York Times reported on Friday.

Without specifying how many of those deals have been signed since their site was acquired by Google last fall, YouTube officials say they are adding more than 200 mostly small media compamies or sites a quarter, according to the Times.

Some of the partnerships have been announced publicly. On Monday, for instance, YouTube said that it had teamed up with the National Basketball Association to create a channel where the league would show authorized clips and where fans could upload short videos showcasing their best moves.

A day later, YouTube said it had reached a deal with an independent label, Wind-up Records, to stream music videos and allow YouTube users to incorporate music tracks in their own videos, according to the Times.

But YouTube says most of its licensing deals have been done quietly. It says it has firmed up more than 1,000 partnerships with content owners ranging from the Sundance Channel to small independent video producers, the Times reported.

YouTube executives say the deals are a sign that a growing number of companies are becoming comfortable with displaying their content on the site, the Times reported.

Industry analysts say in the Times that it is far easier for YouTube to persuade small media companies to license their content than it is to get NBC or Viacom, two of Google's vocal critics, to give up control of their most-prized content and the advertising revenue associated with it.

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