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Doubling UP: $200 Million More for New Video Creators at YouTube

In 2011, Google invest­ed $150 mil­lion into the cre­ation of over 100 YouTube chan­nels, most of which fea­tured exclu­sive con­tent from the likes of The Onion, Slate and The Wall Street Jour­nal. Sev­er­al celebri­ties also joined the effort, includ­ing such media sen­sa­tions as Madon­na, Ash­ton Kutch­er and Amy Poehler. YouTube’s hum­ble begin­nings may have empha­sized awk­ward vlogs and end­less cat videos, but this heavy invest­ment has forced the com­pa­ny to take on a more sophis­ti­cat­ed approach.

The effort proved an over­whelm­ing suc­cess, with the com­mis­sioned YouTube chan­nels quick­ly land­ing mil­lions of sub­scribers. Pleased with the results, Google is now invest­ing anoth­er $200 mil­lion in the project. Accord­ing to The Wall Street Jour­nal, this mon­ey will be used to pro­mote exist­ing chan­nels and upgrade videos for a more user-friend­ly experience.

A Tri­al And Error Approach To Video Content

Google’s YouTube ini­tia­tive has proven suc­cess­ful thus far, but it took quite a few blips along the way to get there. Chan­nels are giv­en exten­sive cre­ative license, leav­ing them with them with the oppor­tu­ni­ty to either shine or flop.

Lar­ry Aidem, the mas­ter­mind behind YouTube chan­nel MyISH, expe­ri­enced sev­er­al ups and downs along the way. His first few videos fea­tured pre­sen­ters chat­ting about their favorite musi­cians. Aidem lat­er told The Wall Street Jour­nal that, at the begin­ning, “it was crick­ets.” Study­ing the lim­it­ed feed­back from YouTube users, he dis­cov­ered, “the audi­ence was­n’t big on talk­ing heads.” Aidem’s response includ­ed nar­row­er chan­nel focus, as well as the recruit­ment of YouTube celebri­ty Michael Buck­ley. These changes led to a remark­able increase in traf­fic, with the num­ber of month­ly view­ers increas­ing by near­ly 600,00 between April and June of 2012.

Aidem is just one of sev­er­al chan­nel cre­ators to suc­cess­ful­ly nav­i­gate the com­pli­cat­ed ter­ri­to­ry of the Google ini­tia­tive. Oth­er suc­cess sto­ries include Awe­some­nessTV, rack­ing up over 10 mil­lion views, as well as WIGS, a pop­u­lar romance chan­nel fea­tur­ing actress­es Amer­i­ca Fer­rera and Jen­nifer Gar­ner. Those chan­nels fail­ing to attract sig­nif­i­cant audi­ences will like­ly be encour­aged to uti­lize addi­tion­al Google fund­ing by invest­ing in the very upgrades that have proven ben­e­fi­cial for con­tent cre­ators such as Lar­ry Aidem.

Google Expands It Pre­mi­um Chan­nel Effort To Europe

Fol­low­ing a promis­ing first round of pre­mi­um chan­nels in Amer­i­ca, Google is now launch­ing a sim­i­lar effort in France. French news­pa­per Le Figaro reports that 13 new chan­nels are due to launch in Octo­ber. Addi­tion­al chan­nels may fol­low in the Unit­ed King­dom and Ger­many. The goal of this expan­sion is to reach a larg­er audi­ence while attract­ing new adver­tis­ers. If these Euro­pean videos prove even half as suc­cess­ful as their Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts, YouTube users can expect the unveil­ing of dozens of inter­na­tion­al chan­nels in the future.

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