Following the lead of the independently-minded Vimeo, and the studio aspirations of Hulu and Netflix, Google is apparently planning to revamp YouTube with up to 20 'channels' that will produce 5-10 hours of original content a week.

Here's what the Wall Street Journal reports:

The company is planning changes to the homepage that would highlight sets of channels around topics such as arts and sports. YouTube is looking to introduce 20 or so "premium channels" that would feature five to 10 hours of professionally-produced original programming a week, one of these people said. Additional channels would be assembled from content already on the site.

It is planning to spend as much as $100 million to commission the creation of original content for the premium channels, the people familiar with the matter said.

This is only a good thing, as it will help refocus YouTube into something more than a melange of webcam rants and videos hoping to go viral. And it will only help in the war against asshole broadcast executives who keep trying to lockdown television content.

WSJ sources also say Google wants to start implementing this new YouTube by the end of the year and are already in talks with various talent agencies. [WSJ via ZDNet]