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Why is Google hiring Hollywood executives?

Google poached its second executive from Paramount since December, reported AllThingsD, raising the question for many -- What is Google planning to do with its new cast of Hollywood hires?Alex Carloss, executive Vice president of digital distribution at Paramount, has been hired by YouTube to serve on a "content acquisition team," according to AllThingsD.
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Written by John Hazard, Contributor on

Google poached its second executive from Paramount since December, reported AllThingsD, raising the question for many -- What is Google planning to do with its new cast of Hollywood hires?

Alex Carloss, executive Vice president of digital distribution at Paramount, has been hired by YouTube to serve on a "content acquisition team," according to AllThingsD.

In December, Google hired Malik Ducard, a senior VP of digital distribution at Paramount, for an unspecified role in "content business development." This comes after it brought Robert Kyncl from Netflix to serve as global head of TV and film entertainment.

The motivation for the Hollywood hiring spree remains unclear, but could be an extension of YouTube's pursuit of licensing deals with content publishers well as individual celebrities.

The hires indicate the obvious: Google is now a content carrier, the same as NetFlix, Time Warner Cable and DISHNetwork. From AllThingsD:

...YouTube is already striking up partnerships with lots of people you've previously never heard of, and making mini-stars out of several of them. And the main reason the company is set to buy Next New Networks is that it likes some of that startup's acumen in building out new video franchises.

And while Google has denied a report that it was looking to create a Netflix-style streaming service in the U.K., I wouldn't be surprised if it did spend money to procure content outside the U.S.. It's already begun making noises about buying the rights to American sports leagues for streaming deals in other countries-the Web video market outside the U.S. isn't nearly as established, or as expensive, as it's become in this country.

The hires also indicate another trend. Google, a sought-after employer by technologists, is fast becoming a sought-after employer in the worlds of entertainment and content workers. And can Facebook be far behind? Facebook was sixth for online video in January 2011 and has shown it is not afraid to compete for talent with Google.

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