By Sahil Patel
YouTube plans to once again fund original content from some of its top creators. That new initiative, which follows an earlier effort in 2012 to bring more premium content to the video site, will launch by the end of the year, according to YouTube’s head of originals Alex Carloss, who shed some light on the company’s plans at NATPE conference.
Carloss did not reveal how much YouTube plans to spend on the content, as well as any specific projects that the company is already working on.
In 2012, YouTube gave more than $200 million to a mix of digital and traditional brands and talent to launch original channels and content on the site. From that effort, Carloss said YouTube learned a lot. “In many ways it shaped the YouTube narrative, to write the playbook for what works and what doesn’t,” he said.
One of the ways it has shaped YouTube’s upcoming original programming initiative, is to focus on developing and creating content with some of the top stars on the site. The goal is to help these digital celebrities create stuff “beyond what they’re typically able to realize,” according to Carloss.
In this way, YouTube also hopes to stave off encroaching competitors, especially Facebook, which has seen its video business grow exponentially in the past year, and Jason Kilar’s Vessel, which many in the industry have its eyes on.
Specific to YouTube’s new effort, in addition to financing projects, Carloss said YouTube will also help talent produce and market the new content.
All content created as part of this effort will be exclusive to the site in the first window. And it won’t be restricted to any formats common to traditional media, such as half-hour and hour-long episodes. The focus will be on working with talent that has a passionate fan base and cool ideas, Carloss said.
This effort is being overseen by Carloss and his originals team, which is divvied up by scripted, unscripted, family, and comedy programming.