YouTube is throwing more money into original channels in a bid to challenge mainstream television and everything that runs on it. Yes, including the advertising.
Nearly a year after YouTube sprinkled $100 million across the online video platform to create more than a hundred new channels, it’s doubling down.
YouTube will provide a second round of funding to 30 percent to 40 percent of its original partners. Cull what doesn’t work, top up what does.
In the first round, YouTube took a scattershot approach, funding 100 concepts from a wide variety of producers as well as a lot of mainstream celebrities.
What didn’t work? A celebrity name attached wasn’t enough. Nor was simply creating content – however good it might be – and posting it to a channel.
While channels failed for a lot of reasons, the ones succeeding have one common characteristic – make building the audience as big a priority as creating content.
But the bigger challenge for YouTube is to get people watching longer so they can compete for TV ad budgets. It has a long way to go to match the time people spend in front of the tube. TV viewers watch more video in one day (4 hours, 38 minutes) than YouTube viewers do in a month.
Making YouTube more like television is probably not the answer. Original YouTube content should be, you know, original.
And the advertising? Yes, that should be original too.