YouTube is expanding its foray into original content by announcing over 60 new channels, and expanding into Europe. Last October the Google-owned company dedicated over $100 million to creating original content in the US is now intent on replicating this success overseas.
New YouTube Channels For Europe
Much like the 100 existing US channels, this new content will be a mix of culture, lifestyle and celebrity based channels with countries like France, Germany and the UK receiving their own dedicated content. YouTube has also announced it will be creating new US channels as well as giving more funding to existing ones. UK channels will include HuHa’s ChannelFlip, BBC WorldWide’s OnEarth and The Jamie Oliver Food Channel.
This expansion in original content is part of YouTube’s attempts to be seen not just as a collection of user-generated videos but also as a serious entertainment competitor in a move designed to appeal to both users and advertising investors.
Top 25 Original Channels Average 1 Million Viewers
YouTube’s original content has so far been a success, with the company revealing that the top 25 performing original channels, such as rapper Jay-Z’s Life+Times channel, are now averaging over a million viewers per week and that 800 million YouTube users are now watching four billion hours of original channels content every month, up three billion hours from earlier this year.
While YouTube is keen to attract regular, dedicated users, it is just as keen to attract new investments. The company currently generates more than $2 billion in advertising revenue, an impressive number but one which pales in comparison to the $60 billion earned by some broadcast networks. In creating and establishing popular original content, the company aims to shift its marketing success away from one-off fluke hit videos (like Keyboard Cat and Gangnam Style) and instead towards the sort of consistent and sustainable content that will generate more confidence in advertising partners – and bigger profits.
Whether this is successful or not remains to be seen but it is heartening that YouTube’s plans to increase profitability run hand-in-hand with creating original entertainment.