YouTube All Set To Launch Original Programming with Major Partners

By Kenna McHugh 

The Google-owned YouTube has set forth its effort to compete with satellite and cable TV programmers. The platform announced late Friday it has teamed up with industry’s best and will roll out high quality television-style channels.

YouTube plans to produce professional shows that will stand out against its all too familiar short videos of cuddly pets, crazy sport stunts and other recreational content that placed the platform in a prominent position on the Internet.

According the THR, the online TV channels will be associated with Madonna, BermanBraun, Shine Group, The Wall Street Journal, Warner Bros., FremantleMedia, pro skateboarder Tony Hawk and actors Ashton Kutcher and Amy Poehler.

News of the sharp change in programming has been trickling out over the last few months. Both THR and USAToday reported the Google-owned property plans to pay out $100 to $150 million in advances for the production of about 100 channels and some channels are getting as much as $5 million. The complete financial particulars were not discussed by Google nor did the company publicly comment on the funding issue. However, the WSJ reported that agreements include YouTube recovering its advances, and then offer up to 55 percent of the advertisement revenue to the content producers.

Other partnerships that are getting their own YouTube channels are CSI creator Anthony Zuiker, World Wrestling Entertainment, HSN, Ben Silverman’s Electus, Everyday Health, Iconic Entertainment and former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal. And, the WSJ also reports that Sofia Vergara of the NBC’s Modern Family will be appear on a Hispanic channel.

THR also reports that the majority of the channels will wait until next year to begin broadcasting. However, a couple of programs are releasing content, shortly. Once all the programs are broadcasting, YouTube estimates “about 25 hours of new and original programming each day”.

YouTube posted on its blog late Friday that it is aiming to create a new digital video platform. The channels are being programmed “specifically for the digital age.” The video site compared the expanded video programming to the beginning of cable television.

The new programming is designed to increase advertiser-friendly products that aligns with professional-quality video. The amateur-created videos generally distract advertisers in general. According to USAToday, YouTube has in the past tried to encourage viewers to stay longer with TV-like services. For example, YouTube’s Leanback has continuous playing program with personalized selection of videos.

YouTube is also counting on owners of Google TV sets, Sony Internet televisions and Blu-ray players, and Logitech Revue TV sets, to start watching the new YouTube channels on a regular basis.

In a timely fashion the Google TV service just released its new and improved version prior to YouTube’s announcement of professionally produced channels. Google TV can accumulate information regarding what kind of content users watch as long as the platform has permission to track them. Of course, combining YouTube with Google’s information can supply Google with substantial target advertising possibilities.

YouTube also invited users to sign up for original channel updates and to visit their preview page to get a taste of what to expect from the platform’s new programming