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YouTube Content Chief on TV Show Spending: ‘I Don’t Need $10 Million an Episode’

TCA 2018: But there is one property they’d empty the wallet for, Susanne Daniels tells TheWrap

Though YouTube has made some high-profile moves this year in the original content space, don’t expect them to throw billions of dollars around to compete with other deep-pocketed tech giants.

“I don’t need $10 million an episode to create great content,” Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original content, said during her TCA press tour executive session on Friday. “I’ve always been a believer that you can make great shows for less money.”

However, after Daniels’ executive session, she admitted to TheWrap there is one project she would empty the bank vault for, if it came to that. “I’m not going to say what it is,” she said. “I’m chasing a property right now I desperately want.”

Despite being owned by one of the largest tech companies in the world (Google bought the site in 2006 for a cool $1.65 billion), YouTube doesn’t have the same budget as a Netflix or Amazon.

“I can’t compete with the level of money that they’re spending,” she continued. “My heart goes out to them because it’s not easy to buy a billion dollars of original content. I think about them every day and how hard their jobs must be.”

Even so, YouTube has made waves this year with its breakout success of “Karate Kid” sequel “Cobra Kai” and nabbing projects from the high-profile talents like George Clooney and Jordan Peele. It all came as YouTube rebranded its subscription service from YouTube Red to YouTube Premium.

“It really wasn’t resonating with viewers,” she said, explaining why YouTube Red didn’t quite stick. “YouTube Premium seems to be working so far for us.”