YouTube launched 100 original content channels driven by celebrities and media companies a year ago. The $150 million experiment seems to be paying off as the Google-owned video destination has ordered up 60 additional channels as part of a new round of funding.
This time around, YouTube is making an international push as they will be funding channels for the French, German and UK versions of the site in addition to the US.
The company wants to make YouTube more television-like in an effort to convince viewers to spend more time on the site. This in turn will help YouTube sell more advertising and thus, generate more revenue.
We understand that this year’s deals will be similar to those signed last year. Google will provide content creators an interest-free advance in exchange for exclusive rights to everything they publish for the length of the contract (typically one year). The search giant will receive 100 percent of ad revenue until the advance has been paid off. Afterwards, Google and the channel creators will then split ad revenue.
Sources with knowledge of the deals are claiming that European creators are being awarded smaller advances because the ad market in that region isn’t as lucrative as it is in the US. It’s also being reported that some content makers are being offered multi-year deals as opposed to single year offers. I assume these deals are being reserved for some of the more successful channels thus far.
US viewers will see a new ESPN channel based on the Grantland site run by Bill Simmons as well as a new comedy series from Sarah Silverman and Michael Cera. The BBC and Euronews will be tasked with developing channels for European watchers.