YouTube has expanded their original channel program to include 13 of Japan’s top content creators today. Similar to previous United States and European YouTube premium channels, the 13 Japanese producers will receive exclusive marketing opportunities as well as funding to help produce and distribute their content.
As the success of “Gangnam Style” has proven to the world, YouTube is a valuable asset in connecting cultures across the globe. This is something the video-sharing site is hoping to capitalize on as all 13 of Japan’s original channels will be broadcast globally on YouTube.
Only five of the original channels are currently live including variety challenge show “III Catherine,” which features a computer generated co-host and, per my understanding, is straight-up bananas.
It wouldn’t be Japanese entertainment without some kind of horror gore, and Horipro Corporation’s original YouTube channel Den of Horror is meeting that demand with original horror dramas like “Exercise of Death.”
There is still no word on how much each individual channel will receive in funding, and with YouTube’s cagey attitude when it comes to original channels, we’ll probably never know.
This expanding of original channels speaks volumes about YouTube’s commitment to increasing their reach across the globe. Even after only 40% of YouTube’s U.S channels were deemed “successful” enough to continue a second round of funding, the Google-owned and operated site still continues to move their initiative forward.
YouTube remains tight-lipped about what countries they will expand to next. But with major media providers like the US, Europe and now Japan hosting original creators, YouTube’s next stop for original channels is anyone’s guess.