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Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos opened the annual VidCon conference in Anaheim Thursday with the announcement that his YouTube multichannel network will be investing $10 million in original programming for YouTube creators’ passion projects.
“We look forward to bringing the best work to you from the best creators of our generation,” he told the audience.
The announcement capped a short keynote speech from Strompolos, a former YouTube employee who left to start Culver City-digital video firm Fullscreen in 2011. Today the MCN works with some of YouTube’s biggest stars, including Grace Helbig, Shane Dawson and the Fine Brothers.
“These are the creators that have captured a generation” he said. “They have spoken to the hearts and the minds of the young. It’s what’s happening now, not what’s about to happen.”
Strompolos also pointed out how far the YouTube ecosystem has come in the last several years, capturing the attention of advertising executives and the traditional media industry. But he also noted that there are still challenges, namely that online video ecosystem still needs to “bridge into the world of traditional television.”
He called on the companies in the ecosystem to not sit back and let YouTube do all the work, but to step up to create new investments and new revenue streams and provide creative support. And he pointed to Fullscreen’s original programming investment as “a sign of this this ecosystem growing and evolving.”
Fullscreen is said to be working on a subscription service for premium content similar to Hulu Plus that would be separate from its YouTube network. The company is also currently being courted by a number of media firms that have expressed interest in acquiring it following Maker Studio’s up to $950 million sale to Disney.
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