In its ongoing bid to lure TV viewers online, YouTube has redesigned its homepage to emphasize channels.
On the redesigned homepage, unveiled Thursday, channels now occupy the wide, middle column. Recommended videos can be found at the right and one’s profile and other popular channels are on the left.
Why channels? Google's streaming site recently announced a series of high-profile content partners in October, from Jay-Z to Amy Poehler to Ashton Kutcher. This new venture involves the creation of about 100 channels of original, professional content.
As channels like “Car and Driver Television” debut and attract a following, this redesign will make it even easier to find them. The channels one subscribes to are in the middle and other popular options are on the left, sorted by category.
This is also about keeping viewers for longer. Rather than have users come, click on a video or two and leave — as the old design encouraged — users may be more tempted to stick around if they load up on all the content of a few channels.
Channels aren’t the only reason for the redesign though. Google has been in an extreme makeover mood, redesigning Gmail, Google Reader and launching Google+ this summer.
The latter is more integrated into YouTube as a result of the redesign, as is Facebook.