YouTube invests more in original content, some channels cut

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YouTube is intent on making its original programming work, so much so that the video sharing site is about to pour more money into it, reports Ad Age. Less than a year ago the site invested US$100-million to give its original channels a kickstart with partners including the likes of Madonna and Ashton Kutcher.

This new round of funding for the project will see the Google-owned site increase funding to its partners by between 30 and 40%.

“Our biggest objective was to kick-start the ecosystem, to bring in great creators, to deepen our relationships with advertisers and to grow viewership,” Global Head of Content Strategy Jamie Byrne told Ad Age. “We looked at viewership they’ve been able to achieve, the cost of the content, and from that we are able to determine the channels that are delivering the best return on our investment.”

Earlier this year, YouTube added 50 more channels to its original programming project effectively taking the project global with channels in most of Europe. However in this new round of investment some channels may get kicked off. This could see the original programming channels reduced from 160 to 90.

According to this AllThingsD report, not only will the channels get the boot, YouTube will keep 100% of the revenue generated by them.

“Channels that don’t get new deals won’t get kicked off YouTube, and executives say they hope content makers will continue producing stuff for the site. In the cases where YouTube hasn’t recouped its initial programming outlay, the site will continue to collect 100 percent of any revenue generated by the videos it paid for,” writes Peter Kafka.

According to the Ad Age report, the top 25 new channels currently average “more than a million views a week and the top 33 have more than 100 000 subscribers, a key indicator of repeat viewing”.

The new investments will mirror that which the company set up late year, with channels receiving somewhere between US$1 million to US$5 million in funding in exchange for producing original content that will stay on YouTube exclusively for more than a year.

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