YouTube's come quite a long way from its roots as a repository for random videos from the public. It's gone from "Chocolate Rain" and the Tron guy to streaming Disney classics
and now creating original, quality content. The New Yorker
spoke extensively with YouTube's Global Head of Content Robert Kyncl about the site's future plans, and YouTube's got its sights set on grabbing a big slice of TV's $300 billion pie. Kyncl thinks the future of TV is in niche content, and YouTube's original channels are just the vehicle to deliver it direct to your digital door. The site is commissioning people and companies to create the channels (as opposed to individual shows or pieces of content) which gives the creators freedom to program their channels as they see fit -- all YouTube asks is that they provide a certain number of hours of programming per week. This production model is apparently pretty attractive to content producers, given the talent that's on board
and the amount of content that'll be rolling out over the next six months.
The idea is that all the original content will get people watching YouTube for longer periods of time, and in turn grant more opportunities to reap ad revenue. Of course, these specialized channels don't provide the wide advertising reach of traditional television, but they do allow advertisers to target very specific audiences with focused ads. That presumably provides them with better bang for their buck. Time will tell if YouTube's new plan will win the war against traditional television and web TV (including Kyncl's former employer Netflix
), but free, quality on-demand content certainly sounds good to us. Get a fuller accounting of Kyncl's vision at the source below, and feel free to sound off in the comments if you're picking up what he's putting down.