/// YouTube, Which Wants More TV Dollars, Pays Up For More "Channels"

October 8, 2012  |  All Things Digital


YouTube is ramping up its channel experiment . Google is funding a new batch of video-makers to join the 100 it launched in the last year. And it’s making an international push, by adding content for the UK, German and French versions of the site. YouTube says it will put money it more than 60 new “channels” — branded destinations that show a mix of original programing and clips pulled from around the Web.The idea is to make the site more “TV-like” — and convince viewers and advertisers to spend more time and money there . Meanwhile YouTube is in the midst of renewal talks with its first set of channels, who expect to hear about their fate in the next few weeks. In the announcement touting its new deals, YouTube is spending more time playing up the Web brands it is working with, like Everyday Health and PopSugar. A year ago, it touted links with the likes of Jay Z and Madonna. The expansion announcement comes as some channel partners have begun questioning the way YouTube has run its experiment. Their biggest gripe: They haven’t received much guidance or support from the video platform, and have been left to their own devices — especially when it comes to marketing and distributing their clips. Privately, YouTube officials argue that channel partners shouldn’t be complaining, since the deal terms were well-established at the beginning. Publicly, they point to statistics that show growth for the new channels. They say 25 of the channels now average more than a million views a week, for instance, up from 10 channels earlier this year. Robert Kyncl , the former Netflix executive who has spearheaded the channel push for Google, says new YouTube programmers may need “a couple of years to gain a certain velocity and a certain volume.” Once they do he says, the company plans on offering a group of them even more incentives to work for the platform. “What we will look to do is provide them with greater revenue predictability, for multiple years, so they can focus on building their channels and on building their audiences,” he says. YouTube’s new channels deals are roughly similar to the ones they offered last year : Google hands the channel-makers interest-free advances, in exchange for exclusive access to their content for a year or more; Google keeps all ad revenue until it clears its advance, and shares it with creators after that. But there are some variations. People familiar with the deals say that Google is likely handing out smaller advances to European programmers, because the video ad market pays out less than in America. And some of the American deals are different than last year’s as well. In some cases, for instance, Google has made multiple-year committments to the content-makers, instead of making them year-by-year renewals.

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YouTube, Which Wants More TV Dollars, Pays Up For More "Channels"

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