YouTube Wants to Drop $100 Million on 20 Channels Worth of Original, Professional Content

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.

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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]

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DISCUSSION

They may have to pay for the content, Vimeo doesn't. Vimeo is an entirely different beast and I think Youtube is wasting its money. Vimeo is like a club where most of the professionals know each other and are on a first name basis with Vimeo's staff. Vimeo folks are very loyal. They went to Vimeo because, not only is the service superior, but they don't want their stuff being showed side by side with the Numa Numa Guy or the latest Rebecca Black video. They want to display their art in a "gallery" and Vimeo has the highest class video gallery on the net. I'm sure they'll get some professionals to create some content for them when YT is throwing that much scratch around, but professional videos don't get views on Youtube, with a few exceptions in the comedy genre.

With all that being said, if Youtube is aiming for the Netflix audience and Hulu, its a waste of time. They aren't going to get a lot of people to pay for 5-10 hours of original material a week. They may get some views but from my experience, Youtube users are the same audience that likes shows like "America's Funniest Home Videos". Its not going to work. They need to do a new site if they want to pull this off.