(Updated with comment from YouTube and other sources)
Premium and original content is the name of the game for online video sites now, with Netflix, Hulu Amazon and even Yahoo putting a big effort behind obtaining content that goes beyond simply being a hub for others to share their content.
YouTube has already tried to boost up its premium content, going beyond only user-generated content. In October of 2011, YouTube announced that it was going to be putting $100 million into creating original content, known as channels. 100 channels were originally launched, with another 60 a year later.
Now the video-streaming site has even been in talks with Hollywood and independent producers to further fund that its professional content, it was reported by Reuters on Sunday. That could mean that YouTube will contribute somewhere between $1 million and $3 million in order to produce its own premium programs, all in an effort to increase its ad-base.
Sources told Reuters that the content would be shorter than 30 minutes, but obviously longer than the current average, which is between four and five minutes.
A source close to YouTube told Vatornews that these are actually exploratory talks with select people about ways YouTube can continue to accelerate creators on the platform.
In addition, the source also told me that these talks fall in line with how YouTube is already ramping up its investment in creators, which began in 2012, and continues today with YouTube Spaces, and marketing programs, such as the one done recently with Michelle Phan, Rosanna Pansino and Bethany Mota.
"We are always exploring various content and marketing ideas to support and accelerate our creators," a YouTube representative told VatorNews in an email.
YouTube is, of course, the most popular streaming site in the world. In fact, in June of this year, YouTube was third most popular site on the Internet, behind only Google and Facebook. According to Reuters, it has over one billion unique visitors every month. The company also says that its channels initiative has also so far been very successful.
"Over 115 of the channels launched as part of that initiative are now in the top 2 percent most-subscribed to channels on the platform," a company representative told me.
Still, that has not helped much when it comes to monetization. YouTube relies on advertising, and advertisers simply are not going to pay higher amounts for the majority of the user-generated content that currently exists on the site.
Netflix has found big success with its original series, most notably Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, both of which have scored multiple Emmy nominations. Yahoo recently made headlines when it struck a deal to air the sixth season of cancelled NBC show Community; the company has also launched a new video-streaming app with original content, such as Ghost Ghirls, which stars Jack Black and Losing It With John Stamos. Amazon just greenlit six new shows.
YouTube obviously wants its creators to put out the best content possible to attract advertisers, and that is what these talks are all about.
(Image source: monique.net)