During a keynote interview at The Next TV Summit, Alex Carloss,
head of entertainment at YouTube/Google, stressed that the company was looking
to partner with traditional content providers as well as fund new source of
online content as part of its YouTube channel initiative.
So far the results have been very promising he
argued, with around "20 channels now averaging one million views a week and
maybe 25 channels have [signed up] 100,000 subscribers since launch."
Carloss also highlighted a number of trends,
most notably a shift to mobile consumption that would impact their approach to
creating original digital content over the next year.
A year ago, mobile views accounted for only
one in 12 views on YouTube, a number that has risen to about one in four today.
"The transition to mobile will change how to program to these audiences," he
Carloss also expects audiences to become "much
more involved" in programming" and that they were also working on "audience development
and technologies and tools to drive viewership on these hyper social platforms.
Carloss did not discuss the company's business
models, which have involved advancing content creators $100 million to create
original content. The channels pay back the money from advertising.
But he noted that the channel effort was
designed to help overcome the problem faced by users and advertisers to find
the content they want.
"There are some amazing things that come with
the scale of 800 million monthly uniques and 4 billion video views," he said.
"But it challenges discoverability for users. It becomes hard work for
advertiser to find audience and hard for content to build value for IP
[intellectual property] holders."
To help overcome that problem, YouTube worked
to create apps for a plethora of devices and launched an initiative to fund
original content in around 100 channels.
"We reoriented around brands, whether they are
the great [TV and content] brands in this room" or new players and creators.
"The intent was to [jumpstart] the eco system" by finding partners to produce
content in almost every genre for all demos.
He also noted that they were working with a
number of studios and that yesterday announced a deal with Fox that would make
around 600 titles available for rent on Google.
Financing original web content and creating
partnerships with tech and CE manufacturers for content creation was a major
theme of the Summit.
In a separate keynote interview, Blair
Westlake, corporate VP of media and entertainment group, noted that Microsoft
had been extremely successful in signing up content providers for its Xbox
platform but original content would play a crucial role in differentiating its
devices and platforms in the future.
"Having something that no one else has," was
important in driving increased ratings and revenue at cable networks and would
play a crucial role in the competition between various digital platforms, he
This is also opening up opportunities for
traditional cable networks. In a separate panel, Howard Owens president of
National Geographic Channels noted that they had worked with Microsoft's Xbox
to create additional content for some of shows on Xbox.
Eric Berger, executive VP of digital networks
at Sony Pictures Television also noted that they were seeing rapidly growing
revenues from their ad-supported network that was allow them to create more
additional original content with such high profile talent as Jerry Seinfeld.