YouTube on Wednesday announced a slew of new channels and content partners, including the Tribeca Film Festival and filmmakers Jon Avnet ("Black Swan") and Rodrigo Garcia, the director of “Albert Nobbs” and creator of HBO's "In Treatment."
Google’s online video behemoth hosted “Brandcast,” the company’s first official upfront and a proper coda to the online video world’s version of television upfronts.
Advertisers have heard from the likes of Yahoo, AOL, Hulu and Netflix, but YouTube remains king with more than 800 million viewers around the world.
“At YouTube, we’re not just re-imagining video -- we’re re-imagining brand-building on the web,” Lucas Watson, Google’s VP for Global Video Sales, said in a statement. “The world’s most important brands are increasingly looking to reach the diverse audiences YouTube attracts, which is why Unilever, Toyota, GM, and AT&T have already jumped on board and are building their brands alongside these new YouTube channels.”
Avnet and Garcia created the channel “WIGS,” which will feature original, scripted dramatic series and short films about women. Among the Hollywood talent to sign on for upcoming series are Virginia Madsen, Stephen Moyer (photo above), Jennifer Beals, Alfred Molina, Michael C. Hall and Alison Janney.
Other new channels include the “TeamUSA channel” from the U.S. Olympic Committee – just in time for this summer’s Games – and “The Picture Show,” a partnership between the Tribeca Film Festival and Maker Studios.
YouTube also announced a new show from video game giant Machinima, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,” a new live-action series collaboration with Halo Waypoint.
Last October, YouTube announced an imitative for 100 channels of original content and high-profile partners like Machinima, Hearst and Electus, featuring talent from Jay-Z to Amy Poehler.
According to YouTube, the portal will host 25 hours of new original content every day by the end of June.
It is also using “Generation V,” a study of consumer video trends, to convince advertisers to invest even more. According to the study, men between the ages of 18 and 34 are now watching more streaming video than live TV.
The TV industry is doing just fine, but advertisers have yet to match viewing trends for online video.