YouTube's looking to evolve from offering only a conglomeration of amateur videos and pirated clips and become a legitimate provider of premium content with its new marketing tool, Brandcast, and it's looking to achieve that goal by pledging millions of dollars toward the campaign.
Yesterday at a celebrity-laden courtship for advertisers that featured the likes of Jay-Z, Virginia Madsen, Julia Stiles, Flo Rida, and several others, YouTube announced it was dedicating $200 million dollars to promote the premium channels throughout the Google Display Network. YouTube is investing another $100 million dollars into the creation and production of content for the premium channels, as well, so they'll have a more Hollywood gloss to them and won't be mistaken for the shaky camera work you see in so many of those skateboarder wipeout videos.
In case you missed the teaser that YouTube released last month for Brandcast's debut, take a look at what YouTube has in mind.
YouTube's been working toward its first upfront event since rumors began to circulate last September that the video site was going to launch a TV-like service.
According to a Advertising Age, Global Head of Content at Google/YouTube Google/YouTube, Robert Kyncl, wants to take YouTube into a bold new direction with online broadcasting. "We will fish where the fish are in a mighty big pond," he said invitingly to the advertising execs in attendance. "If you want to lead, join us now for the next seven years. We can build audiences together. We can build brands together."
So far, YouTube's managed to attract a high caliber of celebrities to create channels on YouTube. A report from the Washington Post last October detailed how Madonna, Shaquille O'Neal, Ashton Kutcher, and Jay-Z will be a part of YouTube's plan to eventually offer 100 channels of original programming that will produce about 25 hours of new material every day. As of today, YouTube's practically already at that 100-channel goal as it's channels page for new and original content has over 90 channels.
As Google TV wades into the television and production market and with the Apple TV making a separate effort, it'll be interesting to see whether or not this is the first death knell for cable television as we know it.