According to a report by Bloomberg, YouTube is planning to produce its own original content that will be made available for free viewing, in an effort to expand its programming and efforts to attract advertisers. The company will produce more than 40 original shows and movies in the next year, spending hundreds of millions of dollars, the publication claims citing a person familiar with the plans.
Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s head of original content, said in an interview that the company is working with “YouTube stars and big celebrities that we know have global appeal, advertiser appeal and are largely established on the platform”. Comedian Kevin Hart, talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres and the comedy duo Rhett & Link are producing unscripted shows that will debut this year on YouTube.
It seems the Google-owned company’s current target is to convince marketers to shift more ad money to the web from TV.
“The two biggest players in the Newfronts are YouTube and Hulu, yet neither tells you exactly where your ad ran,” said Ben Winkler, chief investment officer of OMD USA, part of the Omnicom Group Inc. advertising company. “I expect YouTube will be the first to blink.”
YouTube also will help Rhett & Link expand on their already popular “Good Mythical Morning” to create a series that feels every bit as grand as TV talk shows. While most recent episodes feature the two hosts at a desk, the revamped version, in its 11th season, will include more guests, challenges and correspondents.
YouTube’s parent Google reported more than $21 billion in ad sales in the first quarter, which is more than the entire U.S. TV industry.