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YouTube Expands Its Foray Into Content Creation [VIDEO]

For the past eight months, YouTube has been focused on creating almost 100 of its own original content channels.

The channels, which feature a wide array of topics — including music, to comedy, and sports — have an initial $150 million backing. The company announced at the end of July that the project would receive an additional $200 million in funding.

Advertising money for the channels is rolling in. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Amir Efrati, YouTube has garnered over $150 million, and he reports that Robert Kyncl, a vice president at YouTube, said that 10 of the channels are receiving more than one million views on the videos every week.

The appeal for advertisers is in the amount of hits the video may get, since YouTube leads the pack of online video providers. Kyncl said that people are watching, per month, four billion hours of video on the site. Last year, that number was at three billion.

The channels, writes Efrati, showcase only “brand safe,” high-quality content that will be attractive to advertisers. YouTube has signed on big names such as Amy Poehler, Wayne Brady, and Michael Buckley, a well-known personality on the site, to star in the original programming.

“A $150 million dollar investment from Google with so many celebrities endorsements can’t be a bad thing,” says Dustin McMullen, a producer and director at Sierra Media. “Wanting to put another $200 million into its marketing strategies says to me statistics show a payoff and an audience with a need and want.”

In McMullen’s eyes, YouTube is leading the trend when it comes to users curating their own content.

“I really do think it’s the future especially as the millennial generation and minorities continue to grow and lead across the world,” he said. “Why not ditch your cable box, satellite dish, or five free network channels, and use the internet to watch video content which will link to other content that interests you?”

Viewers will be empowered in other ways as well thanks to YouTube.

Efrati says, “In contrast with TV, YouTube’s fast production process and the lower costs of online video means producers can make near-instant changes to their programs in response to viewer feedback. As a result, YouTube channel producers say the rapid evolution of their content will eventually allow them to find the best way to attract large audiences for the long term.”

The company itself has much to gain if the initiative is successful.

“YouTube/Google inc. have become content creators for the sole reason to attract the audience that independent media producers have been so successful at through online viewers,” according to McMullen. “It just makes sense. The only thing is now those small budget producers that continuously produce online content will be in competition with the high end production companies and famous faces you see on television.”

The opportunity for expansion and making a profit is in YouTube’s favor, says McMullen.

“The importance of video on the internet will only continue to grow,” he said. “According to Cisco Systems, video content will account for 90 percent of all internet traffic by 2014.”

Even though YouTube seems to be flourishing at a fast rate, and exporting its products to the U.K. and France, a company spokesman says that the company is dedicated to supporting its channels here and producing high quality content: “The broader goal with original channels is to accelerate the growth and velocity of all the great partner content coming to YouTube. We’re seeing this happen now.”

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