The first international expansion of its massive funding program
YouTube's "original channels" program is expanding to Europe, after initially targeting only the US market. YouTube wants video creators in several European countries to have the same opportunities as their US brethren.Well, almost the same opportunities, as there's less money involved for European side of the project, due to the smaller audiences.
YouTube may be the home of a thousand (a billion really) cat videos, but few of those are making any money, for YouTube or its creators. The money is in serialized and relatively high production videos for the web and Google is very keen on expanding that.
It's been financing promising video makers for a few years now, but last year it went to the next stage and started offering financing for original series and channels made specifically for YouTube.
These new "professional" channels are supposed to get some of the people already doing work for traditional mediums more interested in the web.
YouTube is pouring a few hundreds of millions of dollars into the project, though individual shows only get a fraction of that.
In the first stage, YouTube funded some 100 channels, last year. Those channels are already live or are in the works.
But YouTube is now going international and is funding 60 more of these channels. The international expansion targets UK, German and French audiences so far.
"From local cuisine, health and wellness and parenting to sports, music, comedy, animation and news, this new lineup of original channels will have something for everyone. They are backed by some of the biggest producers, well-known celebrities and emerging media companies from Europe and the U.S.," YouTube boasted.
"A lot has happened since we announced nearly 100 new original channels coming to YouTube: 7-year-old Ruby taught Amy Poehler about feminism," YouTube said about the first 100 channels.
"Rainn Wilson interviewed Deepak Chopra in the back of a mysterious van, and Phil DeFranco’s SourceFed became one of the hottest comedy news shows on the Web or TV," it added.