Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome Is One of YouTube's First Big Wins

YouTube is banking on professional content to compete with TV

YouTube has been trying to make a name for itself as a real competitor to TV, not just in terms of time spent, but in terms of quality of the content there.

Well, if not quality, since that's such a subjective term, at least in terms of budgets. It's been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into funding YouTube videos with that aim.

But it's not alone, YouTube is becoming an industry with various services and companies popping up alongside the actual creators.

[admark=1]Machinima, for example, made its name with gaming videos but quickly expanded beyond that. It's now the top channel on YouTube and it shows.

While the first videos were dirt cheap to produce, Machinima is now pumping big money and is attracting some big names. The biggest is the web-only prequel Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome.

The series is set during the first cylon war and was initially aimed at becoming a regular series on SyFy. It didn't happen, so the creators turned to the web instead.

For the past weeks, several short episodes have been published by Machinima. The viewing numbers aren't great by YouTube standards, the first episode has some 2.1 million views with the others gaining significantly less.

But those numbers will continue to grow, especially once the entire two-hour series is published. Still, it's hard to judge whether it's going to be a profitable endeavor, the entire thing reportedly cost $2 million, €1.54 million to shoot, relatively big budget for a YouTube video, but minuscule for TV.

Still, Machinima is maximizing revenue, apart from traditional ads, it's making the most out of captions shown at the end of each episode, plugging its other content and even a link to buy the entire Battlestar Galactica series on Google Play. The two-hour pilot is set to air on SyFy in February as well.

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