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YouTube adds over 100 original channels in Google's bid for the living room


Coming on the heels of a major Google TV overhaul, YouTube has announced over 100 new channels as Google pushes for a stronger presence in consumers' living rooms.

It was reported on Friday that YouTube will launch more than 100 channels of exclusive content from media companies and celebrities as Google pushes to expand its online video presence and bolster the company's floundering TV platform, reports the Wall Street Journal. News of YouTube's original content initiative came mere hours after Google issued a major update to its Google TV software.

The new channels, scheduled to be launched in waves starting this fall, will generate about 25 hours of original content each day featuring exclusive videos from providers like Thomson Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, Jay-Z and Madonna. Channels will span 19 categories targeted at specific audiences, such as music and health, sports and animal lovers.

"This depth of content is something the Internet industry has lusted after for years," said David Cohen, an executive vice president at media-buying agency Universal McCann. "This is clearly the most audacious original programming initiative for the Internet, and it capitalizes on the trend of creating niche programming, thinking about people's passions and creating communities around them,"

According to the Journal, Google has paid over $100 million in advances to obtain the original content, and will share 55 percent of ad revenue with providers after the initial investment is recovered. Under the terms of the revenue sharing plan, videos must remain YouTube exclusives for 18 months and can only be removed from Google after three years.

Some TV and cable executives see Google's initiative as a threat to business because the companies will be vying for the same advertisers, however Google said the channels will complement current TV programming and are meant to raise the overall quality of videos online.

Along with the daily original content, YouTube will offer about 20 hours of "library TV," which consists of previously broadcast shows or existing footage from network and cable outlets. Most networks have blocked the content they post on their own websites from being on Google TV, and it is unclear which existing shows will be uploaded to the platform.

Aside from being available online, the new channels are planned to be funneled onto TV sets through devices running the recently updated Google TV software, which now includes a new YouTube app. Currently only certain Sony products and the Logitech Revue support the platform, however AppleInsider previously reported that Google may be looking to launch its own set-top box when its upcoming acquisition of Motorola Mobility is finalized.