By Sahil Patel
YouTube and DreamWorks Animation are teaming up to launch a new daily show called “YouTube Nation.” As we first reported last summer, “YouTube Nation” will be a hosted program that covers the top trending videos, topics, and creators on the world’s biggest video site.
In our original report, we described how “YouTube Nation” was a pet project conceived by DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and YouTube content chief Robert Kyncl. Evidence of that can be seen throughout today’s announcement, which makes a point to note how “YouTube Nation” is the first daily series produced by DreamWorks Animation and the first daily program to use the YouTube brand.
“YouTube Nation” is executive produced by Steve Woolf and Zadi Diaz. It will post new episodes (five minutes each) every weekday morning at 9pm ET, pulling together “a rich mix of videos, themed playlists, channel creator highlights, and fan feedback.” DreamWorks will oversee all aspects of production, including editorial and video curation, while YouTube will manage ad sales and marketing — which should further confirm that there is a serious effort underway to make this collaboration work.
The show will be hosted by Jacob Soboroff, a co-host and producer on Pivot TV’s “TakePart Live.” Soboroff was also a founding host and producer for HuffPost Live, AOL and Huffington Post’s online streaming news network, so he has some experience in leading this type of programming both online and on TV.
As a curator of the top stuff on YouTube, “YouTube Nation” will also help drive viewership to other channels and creators on the platform, according to both Katzenberg and Kyncl:
“‘YouTube Nation’ will shine a light on the platform’s most exciting content and creators, giving videos and channels the best opportunity to grow larger and more dedicated audiences,” said DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. “We could not ask for better partners in this new venture than the innovative team at YouTube, who have worked hand-in-hand with us to create a show that not only serves both consumers and creators, but also strives to be great entertainment.”
“It’s exciting to see the creative, visionary team from DreamWorks Animation bring their expertise and passion to YouTube to showcase the videos that define trends and pop culture moments around the world,” said Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content and business operations. “The people at DreamWorks Animation are ideal producers of this show: They really understand the YouTube space, highlighted by their acquisition of AwesomenessTV last year. We’re always looking for new, innovative ways to promote and drive traffic to our partner channels and see ‘YouTube Nation’ as a great opportunity to help viewers discover great content which will surprise and delight.”
On this front, we’ve heard from several creators that YouTube has already been in touch with them to provide clips to use in the show.
This positioning of “YouTube Nation” as a traffic-driver could also help assuage concerns among the YouTube community that the show would compete directly with similarly formatted programs, like Ray William Johnson’s “=3” and Phil DeFranco’s “The Philip DeFranco Show.” (Though, incidentally, both of these creators plan to end their flagship shows in 2014.)
As an added bonus for viewers, YouTube will also make the show available in Ultra HD. This is the first YouTube-based program to take advantage of this new capability, which YouTube announced just last week during CES.
“YouTube Nation” will launch tomorrow morning with Verizon on board as the presenting sponsor.