It's been a year since YouTube spent $100 million on original content channels in a bid to start television 2.0. The time has come for fresh investment in their plan but this time the gatekeepers of web video are going to be somewhat more surgical with their approach.
Only 30-40% of the initially invested video creators will be given a second boost of YouTube money with Google reaching out to the high impact creators who cater for the biggest hits, the majority of which is programming that appeals to the younger demographic such as humour, music, cars and sports.
The debate about celebrity impact has arisen with this latest batch of investment. How important is a famous face when it comes to marketing your web videos? The quality views come from subscribers and returning visitors. It is this audience that the channel owners need to nurture in order to achieve success, these are the ones that understand YouTube in the context of television 2.0 and use it thusly - they know all about cynical YouTube use and aren't going to be swayed by some tacky razzmatazz.
The top 25 new channels are now garnering over a million views a week, with the top 33 having over 100,000 subscribers, this is the mark of repeat views and a demonstration of their popularity and importance on the website.
The latest funding packages will be around the same as the first ranging from $1 to $5 million in exchange for a years worth of content exclusive to YouTube. The challenge for the producers though is to recoup YouTube's investment before branching out with ads of their own. This has been a difficult task for many of creators and was obviously too much for those who never made the second round.
YouTube have said that their underlying goal throughout this whole process is to change the perception among content creators and advertisers. Have they achieved this yet? Only time will tell, but with the average TV viewers watching more regular TV in a day than they do with online video in a month there is some ground to be made up yet.
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