YouTube to Launch 100+ Entertainment Venture Channels
YouTube is aiming at creating over 100 new channels to create a new digital video platform that will rival television programming. You can bet your sweet sweaty socks it’ll have a ton of advertising thrown all over it, too (it’s a YouTube thing).
Participants include Madonna, former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, comedian Amy Poehler, actor Ashton Kutcher, “Office” star Rainn Wilson, spiritual doctor Deepak Chopra and “Modern Family” actress Sofia Vergara. Most are creating channels through their production companies. Madonna is a partner with the dance channel DanceOn, while O’Neal plans the Comedy Shaq Network.
Lionsgate is presenting a fitness channel, and other channels will be launched by news satire the Onion, professional wrestling’s WWE, online magazine Slate and news service Thomson Reuters.
The channels will roll out beginning this month, though most will premiere next year. YouTube says the channels will add 25 hours of new original content daily, with dozens of Web series debuting at scheduled times.
Ultimately, YouTube is aiming to create a new digital video platform that will rival television programming. In a blog posting Friday night, YouTube said the channels are being developed “specifically for the digital age.” The video site compared the expanded video offerings to the advent of cable television.
YouTube has tried to build a more advertiser-friendly product of professional-quality video, as opposed to simply user-created videos. Advertisers generally prefer to have their ads matched with known quantities. YouTube has also previously tried to urge viewers to stay longer with TV-like services like the YouTube Leanback, which continuously plays a personalized selection of videos.
Google is also looking to add professionally produced content to its huge roster of user-generated videos, to give users of its Google TV platform something to watch.