After its stint in amateur videos, YouTube is set to entertain more audiences with about 100 new channels of original video programming content from celebrities such as singer Madonna, actor Ashton Kutcher and rapper Jay- Z.
In an announcement on Friday, the video site, which is a subsidiary of Google Inc., said it planned to create a new "online video" market in comparison to the experiences offered by the television.
"Today we're announcing that even more talented creators and original entertainment will soon join YouTube's existing channel lineup, including channels created by well-known personalities and content producers from the TV, film, music, news, and sports fields, as well as some of the most innovative up-and-coming media companies in the world and some of YouTube's own existing partners. These channels will have something for everyone, whether you're a mom, a comedy fan, a sports nut, a music lover or a pop-culture maven," wrote Robert Kyncl, YouTube's Global Head of Content Partnerships, in an official YouTube blog post.
Other celebrities who are expected to be a part of this initiative are former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, comedian Amy Poehler, "Office" star Rainn Wilson, spiritual doctor Deepak Chopra and "Modern Family" actress Sofia Vergara; each through their production companies, an Associated Press report said.
The media venture will generate about 25 hours of original content, daily, on YouTube. The new channels will feature videos in nearly 20 different categories, such as sports, pop culture, music, health, entertainment, comedy and news. The first channel will launch next month, with the majority of the other channels set to come out next year, Google added.
The partnerships involve more than $100 million in upfront payments by Google to their partners, a person familiar with the deals told Reuters. According to further sources, Google will sell ads alongside the original video channels, sharing up to 55 per cent of revenue so generated with some of its partners. However, the sharing of ad revenue will only happen after Google has earned back the cost of its up-front payments, the Reuters report further explained.
Channels like MTV, ESPN and others will soon be history if this new-age programming falls into place. Could this be a new leap for high-quality online media programming?
On the same day, Google also announced the new 2.0 version of Google TV, providing new tools for TV programs, online videos for TV viewers and the ability to recommend movies. At present Google TV, which comes built-in on certain Sony Corp. television models and on Logitech International set-top boxes, will allow consumers to access online videos and websites from their TV sets.
"There's a lot of thirst for using the Web in the living room," said Google Product Management VP Mario Queiroz, who is leading the Google TV initiative.
Check out the celebrities and their soon-to-be launched programs on YouTube's channels!