I read a brief blurb a few months ago about YouTube offering money to reach out to professional writers, producers, directors and actors to create YouTube original Channels. At the time that’s all it was and I thought it was bold, absurd and genius. So, I featured it in the Blogaboutech Mixtape, v. 2 and I’ve been keeping a very keen eye on these developments ever since.
Today, I came across a really fantastic article in the New Yorker about the genesis of YouTube’s Original Channels idea:
Early in 2011, Kyncl began meeting content creators in a variety of media—film, TV, music, print—whiteboarding the future of television, and inviting them to participate in it by creating new YouTube channels. He offered several million dollars in funding, in the form of advances against future ad revenues, to be used as development money. Once the advances are earned back, YouTube will share ad revenues with the creators. YouTube will have an exclusive right to the content for a year, but the creators will retain ownership. YouTube will be responsible for selling ads but will not invest in promoting or marketing the channels in the way that traditional television channels do. (There will be no lavish premiere parties, and no billboards in Times Square.)
They also discuss the direction they intend to go with it:
Is YouTube attempting to seize the means of production from Hollywood? James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research, thinks so. “They’re saying, Fine, you don’t want to sell us your content, you want to tie everything up in distribution deals—fine, we’re going to make our own deals. Not just U.S. deals but global-rights deals, because YouTube is the largest video platform on the globe, and we’re going to sign Madonna and Amy Poehler, and guess what, this train is leaving the station, get on it or not.”
It is a good read for those who are interested in what may very well be the new way we view television (what ever the Hell that will mean in the next twenty years). I was a little disappointed in the authors proclivity towards mentioning more known content providers who have or will be producing their own channel (The Onion, The Wall Street Journal, Tony Hawk, Shaquille O’Neal, etc) as opposed to people I have featured here on Danger Brain. However, that does sound like an opportunity for someone else, n’est-ce pas?