YouTube Announces TV Initiative With 100 Niche Channels
The Google-owned site's partners include BermanBraun, WWE, Ashton Kutcher and Amy Poehler.
In a low-budget early effort to compete with satellite and cable TV providers, YouTube announced Friday that it has partnered with several entities to roll out television-style channels with professionally produced shows that will strike a sharp contrast to the short videos of crazy cats, skateboard wipeouts and other amateur content that made the site famous.
The online TV channels will be programmed by the likes of BermanBraun, FremantleMedia, Shine Group, The Wall Street Journal, pro skateboarder Tony Hawk and actors Ashton Kutcher and Amy Poehler.
STORY: YouTube to Add TV Channels With Premium Content From Hollywood Providers
Insiders said the Google-owned property has shelled out some $150 million in advances for the creation of about 100 channels, with a maximum $5 million going to any single channel. Financial details were sketchy on Friday, though The Wall Street Journal reported that deals call for YouTube recouping its advances then giving as much as 55 percent of the ad revenue to the content creators.
News of the bold initiaitve has been leaking piecemeal for months, but sources say YouTube will make the announcement official, including a list of some 100 partners, sometime Friday.
Other partners getting their own YouTube channels include World Wrestling Entertainment, Ben Silverman’s Electus, CSI creator Anthony Zuiker, Everyday Health, Iconic Entertainment and former NBA player Shaquille O'Neal.
And the Journal says that Sofia Vergara of the ABC show Modern Family will be featured on a Hispanic channel.
YouTube is no stranger to premium content, as it has been allowing users to rent Hollywood feature films for several years, and insiders say the company is readying an initiative for renting traditional TV shows in a similar a la carte fashion. The channels announced Friday, though, are distinct from those efforts in part because their content is created exclusively for YouTube.
Most of the channels won't launch until next year. When they're up and running, they'll feature about 25 hours of new and original programming each day.
Google isn’t interested in making YouTube merely the best video site on the Internet - it’s already by far the most popular, attracting some 160 million unique users each month – but also a legitimate threat to traditional TV, insiders and analysts have said. It’s not a farfetched goal, given the advancements of Google TV, Apple TV and other technologies that put Internet video on TV screens. It's also a worthwhile goal, of course, given that the $60 billion TV advertising business in the U.S. is about 30 times larger than the video-ad market on the Internet.
Companies like YouTube, Yahoo and AOL "are increasing online video offerings to keep pace with or push further the evolution of media distribution," said Benchmark Capital analyst Clayton Moran.
"Video garners more user attention and greater advertising rates than traditional online content. The risk is that video also costs more to produce and much of the cost to creating original programming is up front," Moran said. "YouYube appears well-positioned with a strong brand and large user base."
Find a full list of content partners on the next page.
Electus: Channel - Pop Culture (name TBD)
PMC: PMC Entertainment News
Young Hollywood: Young Hollywood Network
DanceOn : DanceOn (Madonna)
Fine Brothers Films: MyMusic
Everyday Health, Inc.: Everyday Health TV
TakePart™: TakePart™ TV
Digital Broadcasting Group (DBG): Spaces
Uncommon Content Partners: The Conversation Channel
Demand Media: eHow Home
SB Nation: SB Nation
Magical Elves and InStyle magazine: Little Black Dress
Hearst Magazines : Channel - Fashion & Beauty Channel (name TBD)
Emil Rensing International: Channel - Auto (name TBD)
My Damn Channel: My Damn Channel: Live
Uncommon Content Partners: Taste & Access
Red Bull Media House North America: Red Bull
Katalyst: Thrash Lab (Ashton Kutcher)
Steve Spangler Science: The Spangler Effect
New Nation Networks: New Nation Networks
Smart Girls at the Party: Smart Girls at the Party (Amy Poehler)
Bedrocket Media Ventures and Full Picture Productions: Look TV
The Young Turks: Town Square
BermanBraun & Rodale Inc.: Vigor
Electus: NuevOn - Latin Channel (Sofia Vergara)
Clevver Media: ClevverStyle
ModernMom.com: ModernMom Channel
Brady Haran: DeepSkyVideos
The Wall Street Journal: The Wall Street Journal
Pharrell Williams : i am OTHER
SoulPancake Productions: SoulPancake (Rainn Wilson)
Chopra Media/Generate: The Chopra Well (Deepak Chopra)
Clevver Media: ClevverNews
The Bowery Presents: The Bowery Presents
Clevver Media: ClevverTeVe
Seedwell: American Hipster
Hearst Magazines : Car and Driver Television
Alchemy Networks: Alchemy Networks
CafeMom: CafeMom Studios
Bedrocket Media Ventures: Channel - Comedy (name TBD)
Demand Media: LIVESTRONG
Bedrocket Media Ventures: Channel - Action Sports (name TBD)
FremantleMedia: Channel - Pets & Animal (name TBD)
Big Frame: BAM
Electus: Channel - Food (name TBD)
Soccer United Marketing & Bedrocket: KickTV
Lionsgate: Lionsgate Fitness Channel
East of Center Productions LLC: YOMYOMF
EQAL: u look haute!
Philip Defranco: Sourcefed
Meredith Corporation and Meredith Video Studios: Digs
Walter Latham Digital: Walter Latham's "Kings of Comedy"
Tony Hawk's production company, 900 Films, Inc. : RIDE Channel
JON M. CHU: Channel - Dance (name TBD)
Vuguru & POW! Entertainment: Stan Lee's World of Heroes
FAWN by Michelle Phan: Fawn
Source Interlink Media: Motor Trend
The Nerdist Channel: The Nerdist Channel
Comedy Shaq Network: The Comedy Shaq Network (Shaquille O’Neal)
Demand Media: eHow Pets & Animals
Brady Haran: numberphile
Cooking Up a Story: Food Farmer Earth
Bleacher Report: Bleacher Report
TED Conferences: TEDEducation
Intelligent Television: Intelligent Channel
Pitchfork: Pitchfork TV
EYEBOOGIE: POP SPOT
Roadside Entertainment/BAC: The NOC
Alli Sports: Alli Sports
The Onion: Onion Broadcasting Company
Smosh/Alloy Digital: Smosh Animation (name TBD)
Knights of Good Productions: Geek & Sundry
Mondo Media: New Animators
BermanBraun & Rodale Inc.: Taste
Varsity Pictures: Awesomeness
Black Box TV: Black Box TV (Anthony Zuicker, founder of CSI)
IGN Entertainment / Shine Group: START
Brooklyn Films Digital: Jon Avnet/Rodrigo Garcia Scripted Content Channel (Untitled)
@radical.media: Channel - Education (name TBD)
Frederator Networks: Channel Frederator's Cartoon Hangover
Thomson Reuters: Reuters.com
Slate: Slate News Channel
Maker Studios: The Maker Music Network
Maker Studios: The Moms' View
Maker Studios: Tutele
Iconic Life and Times (Jay-Z)