A top TV network executive, who oversaw production of shows for the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, is moving to a forthcoming food channel on YouTube. Electus, the multimedia studio formed by the former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment, will announce early next week that it has recruited Mr. Seidel as chief executive of the channel, which has not been named yet but it is already scheduled to begin broadcast in July.
What’s the big deal behind this career move? It’s huge indeed, because it is showing the seriousness of YouTube’s effort to create alternative television on the Internet.
As it was announced back in 2011, Google is going to spend $100 million to invest in original video content production for dozens of new TV channels to be offered on YouTube. The technology giant is finalizing agreements with media companies such as News Corp. and Warner Brothers as well as celebrities, such as Madonna, Ashton Kutcher and others.
With the offer of generous cash advances, over 150 potential producers were invited to pitch their services to YouTube. The video giant offered a range of six-digit advances to each content partner in exchange for the monthly production of several hours of content. Google is planning to recoup the millions invested in the content production through advertising revenue, which will be shared with content producers.
The launch marks YouTube’s most significant push into high-quality content as it is looking to shift the emphasis from the largest video sharing website from user-generated content to a step change equivalent to the way that cable TV industry expanded viewing from a handful of channels to hundreds.
YouTube’s venture, for which Google will fork out up to $100m to producers as an enticement to launch channels, will see about 25 hours of new, original programming a day.
The majority of about 100 new online channels that YouTube has signed up will launch next year.
The new channels on YouTube were expected to launch this year, so this is just the beginning of the roll out…. A clear direction has been identified towards production of niche content, targeting a variety of audiences from sports fans to health-and wellbeing geeks to news junkies. There will be a special channel with content for women, channel with videogames and other topics for young men.
Some partners will be in charge of producing multiple channels that fit into one of 20 or so categories such as food, comedy, health and news. YouTube executives are asking partners, who will retain ownership rights over the content, to produce unique shows that don’t just mimic those on TV.
“Today, the web is bringing us entertainment from an even wider range of talented producers, and many of the defining channels of the next generation are being born, and watched, on YouTube,” said Kyncl in a blog post. “For advertisers, these channels will represent a new way to engage and reach their global consumers.”
As we have said many times, it’s content that rules on the TV waves. The more engaging, high quality content YouTube with Google will bring to the site, the more fun stuff will be out there for us to enjoy.
So far, no ethnic television providers have inked agreements to broadcast through YouTube, but we would be watching to see how long it would take for the multicultural entertainment to follow suit.
Meanwhile, take a peek at one of the new channels on YouTube – Young Hollywood:
Over 78 million video views and more than 36,000 subscribers – not bad for a short period of time on air!
Note: Since acquiring YouTube in 2006 for $1.6 billion, Google has been seeking innovative ways to monetize the popular video site. YouTube’s new channels will compete against streaming services that allow consumers to watch online video on their home TVs as well as tablet and smart phones.