What’s on YouTube Tonight?

by Elena Alexeeva on February 1, 2012

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.

Annette Shaff / Shutterstock.com

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Elena Alexeeva 02.01.12 at 4:25 pm

Okay, here is an update to the post above:

YouTube signed a deal with Chinese web-TV firm Ku6 Media to operate a channel for Ku6′s international users to see videos produced in China.

Who is the next in the multicultural TV community?

Givi 02.02.12 at 4:48 pm

This is a perfectly timed posting, as I just have returned from the DeSilva+Phillips Dealmakers Summit that took place at The Pierre today http://www.desilvaphillips.com/Event.aspx?Event=92570 . The event joined all main decisions makers in the industry; in particular, the topic of “How Leading Media Companies Are Embracing Multi-Screen Delivery” session directly corresponded to the material above.
It was specifically highlighted that we are in the very beginning of the transformation from the old web world into technology of applications. Certainly, all big digital players will aim all their efforts to take away the market share from so-called “leaders of the past”.
In Cooking Channel’s example, it is safe to say, that the winner in a competition will emerge not through the delivery of a “quality content”, but via providing the most practical and elegant way of its storage and accessibility to the user.

Om Boogie 02.24.12 at 12:29 am

Great article

Thiru 02.26.12 at 6:57 am

Actually lkioong forward to see what kind of “professional” content Youtube is going to put out. Internet TV is definitely the future, but the quality needs to be upped considerably if it’s going to match “regular” TV and movies made by the studios. If it’s going to be “web tv” style programming- meh, not so much. Call me old-fashioned.

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