It’s not just idle talk. YouTube and Kyncl — who came to the company from Netflix — are taking a big bet on Web video, pouring $100 million into original content production, in hopes of hitting on the next, big, viral thing.
The Web gives established brands to reach out to different audiences. Content partners participating in the channels program include The Onion and Machanima, established online content brands that have found external revenue from their work on YouTube.
“All of these channels are only getting started,” Kyncl said. “They are only scratching the surface.”
The new movement not only takes on traditional television head-on by offering another medium to big brands, it also gives a platform to niche content creators — those who make videos for crochet fanatics, pet lovers, or classical music aficionados— that would likely never see the light of day on traditional media.
To cultivate that talent, YouTube has launched not only its partnership network, but also grants and educational programs to help find the next YouTube stars and nurture them to find great audiences on the Web.
In a December interview with The Washington Post, YouTube Trends manager Kevin Allocca said that channels are the way that young people discover new Web content. In the past, YouTube users found most of their favorite videos through search.
“Right now we talk a lot about individual videos, but just for a little bit of comparison, you have someone like [comedian] Ray William Johnson, who has three channels with a billion views,” he said, predicting that channels will become “more and more a part of our user experience every day” in the year ahead.
YouTube redesigns Web site
YouTube’s year in review 2011