YouTube is getting closer to launching channels with original content. Like, really soon. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that YouTube will have "over a dozen 'channels'" broadcasting original shows, and that it has asked certain providers for content within the next 60 days. It is unclear whether those content providers would be TV networks or cable channels or movie studios.
YouTube, which media companies have long griped is too stingy cutting content deals, is paying from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million to content creators to create and curate videos for a channel, according to these people. Google recoups the original payment through ad revenue, and Google and the partner share ad revenue after that.
Content owners in talks with the company say Google executives say they want to build a comprehensive video service that users will want to tune into instead of television, not just a service to better compete with other Web video sites. (Google's CEO Larry Page is said to stress that point in particular, one of the people said).
Certainly, Google didn't bother much with traditional content producers when Google TV launched. Will it be any different now? Or will it be indie production houses making stuff?
The channels will have themes sports, news, weather, and comedy, just like your cable service does now. If YouTube is soliciting the same Internet that spawned Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, then I think we're in decent shape for our viewing future. And hey, it's free (for now).