YouTube Begins Funding Original Channels In Japan

By Megan O'Neill 

YouTube’s original channels initiative is heading East.  Today on the YouTube Japan blog, the online video site announced that a collection of new funded original channels from thirteen content partners will be rolling out in Japan, starting today.

The new channels, created by Japanese launch partners including TV station Fuju TV, which will be responsible for five channels, TBS, Vicom, and Crypton Future Media, the force behind the popular singing synthesizer app Hatsune Miku, will receive funding advances to be paid back via advertising revenue.  The exact numbers that YouTube has invested in the Japanese channel initiative has not yet been made public.

According to The Next Web, “YouTube confirms that the Japanese Channel content will be global.”  Perhaps as this content is pushed we’ll start seeing more viral sensations, like Psy, come out of Asia.

Does YouTube have plans to launch original funded channels in any other countries?  A YouTube spokesperson told The Next Web that while nothing official can be confirmed, there are definitely other international projects in the works:

“It’s too early to say at this point [which countries will be next], but I think it’s worth mentioning that we have pretty good traction in Korea and India already with lots of TV channels placing their shows on YouTube after airing on TV.  And on top of that, a lot of homegrown YouTube Partner Program creators with loyal followings.  That’s to say, we already have lots of great content channels in Japan, Korea, India, and elsewhere where people come back to again and again, on regular schedules.”

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video expert here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.