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.