Having launched about 100 original channels from the US since late 2011, YouTube is now growing its original content streams, adding more than 60 new channels from the UK, France and Germany, and more for the US.
The new channels will cover a variety of tastes, covering the likes of food, fitness, sport, music, comedy and parenting. YouTube has gained the backing of several big-name producers, such as the BBC, Endemol, ITN Productions, Euronews and UFA/Fremantle, as well as smaller independent producers, like Hat Trick Productions and online video specialists Base79.
There are also some familiar faces from TV appearing on the new channels, with James May heading up a topical science channel from BBC Worldwide and 360 Productions, and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver hosting a food channel.
The number of subscribers to original channels has doubled year-on-year, and YouTube is trying to entice more channels to join its network based on the success of those already launched. The video-hosting site claims that the top 25 original channels see more than 1m views per week, while total viewing figures for these channels amount to 4bn hours per month coming from 800m users.
The reason YouTube wants more original channels is that it will create more advertising revenue for the site. AllThingsD reports that the typical deal for an original channel is an interest-free advance from YouTube in exchange for exclusive access to content for a period of time (typically a year but multi-year deals are apparently being agreed). This advance is then paid back to YouTube through advertising revenue and, once paid in full, the ad money is then split between YouTube and the content creators.
While chasing more ad revenue, YouTube is also doing its bit for education having celebrated World Teachers’ Day on Friday with the announcement that there are now more than 1,000 educational channels on YouTube EDU.
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