YouTube is setting itself up to go head-to-head with television networks as it reorganises its content into channels and looks to spend up to Â£60 million on original content for the site.
A revolution of sorts is taking place in the television world at the moment as people begin to view content in a variety of non-traditional ways. With connected TVs becoming ubiquitous, online and on-demand content is becoming more and more popular with the likes of the BBC iPlayer quickly becoming one of the principal ways people consume content. In a bid to keep apace with these changes, YouTube is going to completely redesign the way its website is organised and will be investing $100 million in original content, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The new site will be based around channels rather than clips with 20 premium channels each having "several hours of professionally produced original programming a week."
While the content will not be of the standard produced by the major television networks, it will sit somewhere between that more polished content and the user-uploaded content currently on the site. "Google is hoping to carve out a niche of original, professionally produced Web videos that it hopes will cultivate loyal viewers," the WSJ said. Currently the new TiVo box being rolled out by Virgin Media allows users to view YouTube directly on their TV but this latest initiative is a radical and risky move for the popular website.
Original content is a tricky thing to be able to produce successfully and while curating channels around specific topics (sport, comedy, etc) sounds like a good idea, weâ€™re not sure that people will want to view content that isnâ€™t as polished as that available on television networks. It could just fall between the cracks without gaining a sizeable audience.
Source: Wall Street Journal