YouTube has announced plans to produce a raft of original programming beginning this year, as the Google-owned video site moves to counter the rising tide of premium streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

The difference in YouTube's approach to original content is that its shows will be free to view on its website and apps through an ad-supported format, rather than being tied to the company's ad-free $9.99 YouTube Red subscription service.

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The company will make a multi-million dollar investment in more than 40 original shows and movies in the next year, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg. YouTube hopes that high-profile stars will feature in the content and that this will in turn attract bigger advertisers to sponsor the programming.

"We're working with YouTube stars and big celebrities that we know have global appeal, advertiser appeal and are largely established on the platform," Susanne Daniels, YouTube's head of original content, said in an interview.

YouTube has signed up comedian Kevin Hart and TV host Ellen DeGeneres as its first two high-profile celebrities. Hart's show will be a workout-based series, while DeGeneres' program will give fans a peak backstage into the making of her talkshow.

Katy Perry and Demi Lovato also announced behind-the-scenes shows with YouTube, while TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest confirmed his involvement in a music competition called "Best.Cover.Ever", which will debut on the site later this year.

YouTube's original content plans were announced at the annual digital NewFronts conference in New York on Friday.

Tag: YouTube

Top Rated Comments

KieranDotW Avatar
62 months ago
Sounds like a complete bastardization how youtube's original purpose: original content from everyday people. YouTube was never meant to be a place for a-list celebrities, nor were its users supposed to attain celebrity status
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
masochist Avatar
62 months ago
For those of you saying it'll flop: you're not the target audience. The target audience is the person who watches cable TV, all day, every day. The person who cares about celebrity gossip (it's inconceivable to you and me, but people like that exist). There are surprisingly many people like that; tabloids and celebrity news TV networks wouldn't be in business if there weren't. That's who this is targetting, not the person watching House of Cards.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newyorksole Avatar
62 months ago
Sounds like a complete bastardization how youtube's original purpose: original content from everyday people. YouTube was never meant to be a place for a-list celebrities, nor were its users supposed to attain celebrity status
Things change... No person or company stays the same. This is nothing new.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
T Coma Avatar
62 months ago
Well it *is* YouTube, so at least we know they'll maintain that committment to a well-balanced variety of opinions, politically and otherwise. I mean, other than restricting whatever they tell us is "dangerous," of course. :rolleyes:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
6836838 Avatar
62 months ago
YouTube is too heavily censored now. It's all about bitchute now.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jacksmith21006 Avatar
62 months ago
They have over 1 billion hours of content viewed each day and over a billion active users. But the 1 billion is a 100% YoY growth over 2015. Which is an acceleration.

With this user base only makes sense to create their own content. They also have a ton of data to figure out what to produce.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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