Ellen DeGeneres, Katy Perry and other stars debuting free YouTube shows

ellen degeneres youtube alan light flickr

YouTube, seemingly reinvigorated by its website’s visual refresh and the ridiculous advertising potential of its platform, has announced a slew of “exclusive” shows with pop culture’s top brass.

“We’re thrilled to announce that beginning later this year, some of the biggest YouTube creators and Hollywood names will be featured in seven new series on YouTube — bringing more can’t-get-enough-of and can’t-find-anywhere-else shows to everyone, everywhere,” explains Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer.

The company’s planning an initial run of seven series, starring cultural superstars, people you might’ve heard of, or Katy Perry.

Ellen DeGeneres will host a “twice-a-week series built just for YouTube, giving fans behind the scenes access to some of the biggest stars and her favorite moments” dubbed Ellen’s Show Me More Show. Appropriate name, really.

If you aren’t one for her humour, Kevin Hart is also starring in his own show.

“Kevin will team up with celebrity friends and YouTube stars each week as they attempt to master a different trending, grueling and sometimes ridiculous workout routine,” Kyncl explains. The show will be called Kevin Hart: What the Fit?.

Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry and Ludacris are just some of the names starring in free YouTube exclusives later this year

Other names included in the seven-series list, includes Ludacris (who will star in Ryan Seacrest’s talent show Best.Cover.Ever), Demi Lovato (who will boast her own reality series documenting her rise and life), and Katy Perry, who will star in a novel “album listen-along”.

“Live on YouTube, The Katy Perry Live Special will take you inside of her world, revealing the experiences and emotions she poured into her all-new soul-baring music on the eve of her highly anticipated album launch,” Kyncl states.

Although YouTube failed to provide concrete dates for the content’s debut on the platform, it is aiming for “later this year”.

Notably, these shows won’t be confined to the paid tier of YouTube Red either. Instead, the Google-owned video company will support them through advertising.

As a result, these shows will be available for “every single one of our billion-plus viewers” to view “for free”.

Free Ellen and Kevin shows? How is that feasible?

YouTube notes that over a billion hours of content is watched on its platform daily, suggesting that there’s a deep well for advertising revenue just waiting to be tapped. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, also made over US$20-billion in advertising in 2016. YouTube contributed an estimated fifth of that revenue.

Additionally, it has already secured its first advertising partner for the new content, namely Johnson & Johnson.

More granular details of the seven shows are available right here.

Feature image: Ellen DeGeneres, September 1997 by Alan Light via Flickr (CC 2.0, resized)

Andy Walker, former editor


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