The behemoth that is YouTube is about to grow even larger in its reach, as it looks like the Google property is getting into the business of original programming.
The Wall Street Journal quotes sources familiar with the situation that say YouTube could announce the beginning of these content "channels" as early as next week.
YouTube is apparently partnering up with InterActiveCorp's Electus, News Corps, as well as CSI creator Anthony Zuiker. Even pro skateboarder Tony Hawk is said to be jumping on the YouTube programming wagon. YouTube is also joining with folks that already create content for the site for this initiative.
YouTube is trying to become a next-generation cable provider overseeing dozens of free online "channels" with professional-grade shows, people familiar with the matter have said. Google is putting up more than $100 million in cash advances to get some of the content produced, these people said. The company will recoup the funds from advertising revenue it sells against the content, later splitting ad revenue with the partners, these people added.
Going by that, Google is serious about trying to make YouTube a real competitor in the field.
To aid the new original content, YouTube will be redesigned in order to promote it. The sources says that YouTube will be more "channel-centric," promoting users to subscribe to channels based on the type of content or interests - this could include food, comedy, news, etc.
If YouTube can create quality content with its new partners, it could be an important new revenue stream for the company. The question is, how comfortable will companies feel advertising on YouTube original content? It would probably depend on the initial success of the initiative, which would in turn depend on the quality of the new shows.
Do you have high hopes for original content on YouTube? Let us know what you think.