YouTube Invests $200 Million More in Original Channels

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YouTube is serious about its original channels. So much so that Google has announced they will be investing an additional $200 million in marketing, promotion and production for YouTube’s premium channels.

Soon, you’ll be seeing celebrities like Amy Poehler, Wayne Brady, Julia Stiles and other high-profile actors jumping into web content thanks to YouTube’s push.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that YouTube is seeking to reposition itself from user-generated content to something akin to commercial programming on television tailored to the Web. Sooner or later, YouTube will transform into a sort of web television network while putting organic content behind them.

However, the push for original channels has met some bumps in the road. For instance, the Wall Street Journal pointed out that MyISH originally launched in February as a channel where presenters just talked about their favorite music videos. When that failed to bring meaningful responses from the audience, they hired YouTuber Michael Buckley from “What The Buck” to present funny videos related to pop music. Ratings went up and it became the 120th most watched channel on YouTube.

MyISH’s hiring of sensation YouTuber Buckley has proven that user-generated artists still have a stake on the video-sharing site. While MyISH’s retooling has resonated with audience, it can’t be said about the other channels under YouTube’s wing. Although some YouTube pundits have predicted that 90% of the original channels will meet cancellation. The fact that YouTube is adding more money to their marketing budget means that the company is banking on viewers to rally towards high-profile celebrities gracing the Web while content producers without Hollywood clout may not get enough publicity.

If this push for original programming still brings crickets and chirps instead of meaningful discussion, the company should rethink how it markets the channels or which channels should face the axe. Many channels that don’t rely on heavy YouTube support and have star power like DeStorm and Smosh have become wildly successful. YouTube should never forget who has made them a household name.