YouTube's move to back original programming on its site is beginning to get carried out as many new channels are launching. Last year, the video portal announced that it would be adding more than 100 channels of professionally produced content from various media and production companies.
The Young Hollywood Network (YHN) is one of the new partners, and it launched its channel last month. The channel, of course, focuses on the entertainment industry and produces a new show 6 days a week.
"We wanna really create appointment-viewing television," said RJ Williams, the CEO and Founder of YHN.
Williams told us that YHN had been a partner with YouTube for 3 years, but, prior to its recent launch, it had not produced content exclusive to YouTube. However, when talk of YouTube's efforts began to spread, YHN began to talk to the video giant and explain what type of network they could create.
Since the channel's launch last month, Williams said subscribers have greatly increased and that their engagement level is much higher as well. As he explained, viewers would typically stop watching after a minute or so, but now they're watching for longer periods of time. He believes YouTube is quickly becoming a place for "destination viewing."
"YouTube's changed... because it's exclusive content you can't find anywhere else," said Williams.
"If you want to see a specific show or a specific celebrity, you're gonna go to YouTube," he added.
Jim Louderback, the CEO of Revision3, spoke with us not long after YouTube made its announcement and told us that he believed the new channels would raise the bar of professionalism on the video platform. In spite of this benefit, he did point out that these channels could have some challenges with promoting themselves since there are so many veteran channels to compete against.
Williams admitted that it would be challenging but said that all the partners involved with YouTube's initiative would need to help each other succeed.
"For this to work, everybody in the ecosystem needs to feed off one another, and they need to promote each other," he said.
He went on to say that the players that come up with innovative ways to promote the others would be the ones who would survive.
Can the new channels compete with tried and true ones? What do you think?