For many people, Netflix, Amazon Prime and those pirates episodes of Game of Thrones have all but replaced TV. YouTube's another big draw for "cord cutting millennials," but since its videos are all user-submitted, it's almost powerless to stop its stars being poached by TV networks and movie studios. For instance, Fred: The Movie was a flop, but YouTube must have been terrified to see one of its biggest stars wander off so easily. That's why the site is now setting up TV-style production deals with some of its most popular creators, as well as entering movie production partnership with AwesomenessTV.
The idea is that YouTube will bankroll four original series that it'll own outright -- in a similar way to how Netflix wants to lessen its reliance on its production partners. There are two scripted comedy shows, one from The Fine Brothers, the other from Smosh as well as a prank show from Prank Vs. Prank. Rounding out the list is an oddly described "murder-mystery reality series," which makes us hope beyond hope that it's an ersatz remake of Unsolved Mysteries.
At the same time, YouTube is teaming up with Brian Robbins, head of terribly-named studio AwesomenessTV and the figure behind Fred: The Movie. The deal will see Robbins' outfit create "several feature-length films" over the next two years, all starring YouTube stars and premiering on the Google-owned video site. Let's just hope that they all build into a Marvel Cinematic Universe-type situation, where Mamrie Hart leads a team of YouTube stars to fight an alien invasion led by The Gabbie Show.