YouTube is Spending Millions on Free Original Content

YouTube just announced at NewFronts (a video ad convention here in NYC) that they are now going to be offering new, premium content on the site with top celebrities and creators for free.

Kevin Hart, Ellen DeGeneres, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato and Ryan Seacrest have all announced that they will be creating some of these premium shows for YouTube at launch and top creators like Rhett & Link and the Slow Mo Guys are also on board.

What makes this different from the normal channels we see on the site already? YouTube is funding it.

Bloomberg reported, that funding will be to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars over the next year. (Who do I have to pitch?!)

Personally, I think this is a better model for YouTube vs the YouTube Red originals (which I could see working alongside this for a while, at least). For better or worse, we’re now living in a world that it’s pretty common place for us to get our content for free. YouTube happens to even be one of the major sources of that free content, so it only makes sense for them to push this new original content concept within that same model.

Now, why even go after these premium shows? Well, along with premium shows, comes premium advertising. And with YouTube’s current issue of ads being shown on channels that aren’t quite “brand safe”, this also allows them to have a bit more control and appeal to specific larger brands (the ones that normally advertise on TV).

Digital Ad Spend

It’ll be interesting to see how it’s received by YouTube’s audience who is sort of anti-TV in my opinion. A group much more excited about a person talking directly to them on camera as opposed to a narrative/TV voyeuristic point of view. Maybe these new shows will keep that in some way?

What do you guys think about this new content driven by YouTube? What would make you okay with it?

Source: The Verge
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