Kinowelt signs YouTube deal

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CANNES -- German indie Kinowelt has become the first German distributor to ink a deal with viral video site YouTube, announcing an agreement Tuesday that will see YouTube carry trailers, making-ofs and background material to Kinowelt films.

YouTube will set up a dedicated site for Kinowelt content: www.youtube.com/kinowelt, which will feature everything from short film clips of upcoming Kinowelt releases to gala premieres, star interviews and making-of reports.

"We want to go beyond the simple trailer and teaser format and offer a much greater depth of material to audiences than is possible on a typical 30-second TV spot," Kinowelt spokesman Martin Wieandt said.

Unlike recent agreements between YouTube and content providers like the BBC, the Kinowelt deal does not include a revenue-sharing component. The German group views the deal as part of its marketing strategy to promote new releases and DVD library titles.

"(With YouTube) we will reach 70 million potential users every day and can get direct feedback," explained Kinowelt marketing and distribution head Georg Miros.

YouTube will form a key part of Kinowelt's marketing strategy as it gears up its in-house production slate. The group, which released titles including "Saw III" and "Fantastic Movie" in Germany, plans to greatly expand the number of German-language titles it produces and distributes.
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