Last year Google’s YouTube reportedly shelled out more than $100 million in advances to producers in the U.S. for the creation of original, online-native content.
This year, YouTube has turned to European producers as well, with plans to move on to Brazil, India, Japan and dozens of others sometime very soon.
According to Amir Efrati (WSJ, 10/8/12),
“YouTube is expanding world-wide a program under which it could pay hundreds of millions of dollars to media companies and celebrities to produce professional-grade content for the video website, as it aims to attract more advertising dollars.
YouTube said Sunday it has signed deals to pay cash advances to video producers in Germany, France, the U.K. and the U.S. to create more than 60 original “channels” on the site in categories such as sports, health, and comedy. The moves add to the roughly 100 U.S.-focused channels that have launched so far.
The European expansion by YouTube involves a few big content producers, including Endemol NV, which produces shows such as “Fear Factor” and “Big Brother,” and French media group Lagardere SCA . Owners of traditional TV channels, including the BBC and Euronews also are creating YouTube channels.”
YouTube’s plan to invest in higher-quality, original channels as a way to attract increased advertising revenue is starting to gain traction. Tara Seals writes in Video World Insider (10/8/12),
“While user-generated viral videos bring in revenue that fluctuates depending on page views, original, professionally produced online “series” content can offer steady, predictable revenue streams at higher rates. So, YouTube has offered each channel a loan, which it is expected to pay back out of ad dollars, and a one-year contract.
The first hundred channels are now up for contract renewal, and YouTube may ax a few from the initiative, but [Kyncl] reported that YouTube’s top 25 original channels are now averaging more than one million views every week, and overall, 800 million users are watching 4 billion hours of video every month. The number of people subscribing has doubled year-over-year, he added, and partners this year are reaching the 100,000 subscriber mark five times faster than they were just two years ago. That bodes well.
YouTube is clearly pleased with the success so far, and announced a few months ago that it would invest another $200 million to expand the program and help market existing channels.”
The upcoming European channels, like their American siblings, will have a little bit of something for everyone (Mansha Daswani, World Screen, 10/8/12):
“FremantleMedia is launching two channels for Germany, an urban life channel and a crime channel, to be produced by UFA.
Expanding its YouTube relationship, BBC Worldwide will be launching a selection of long-form programming in the U.K. and Canada for the first time, including the first ever episodes of EastEnders, classic comedy The Likely Lads, a selection from the BBC’s Shakespeare Collection and The Trials of Life and other dramas such as The Onedin Line.
Endemol is partnering with YouTube for a line-up of new channels in Germany, including Short Cuts: The Short Movie Channel, which will feature short films, with editorial input from Endemol Germany’s scripted joint venture, Wiedemann & Berg Television; and Survival Guide for Parents, which will provide a humorous and entertaining guide to parenting.
For France, Endemol will be producing a new interactive celebrity channel, IT’S BIG. From Zodiak Active is Fast, Furious & Funny (FFF), content for which will be produced by Bullseye in the U.K.”
Google’s arrangement with producers involves splitting the advertising revenue YouTube gets after recouping the cost of advances paid for content creation. At the moment, the online video advertising market in Europe is less developed than it is in the US, but chances are, with the influx of new, professionally-produced programming, the online video ad market there will begin to move forward, too, to the benefit of all involved – YouTube, producers, and audiences alike.