YouTube is to launch 60 new video channels with programmes made by some of the UK's leading production companies, including All3Media, Hat Trick, Shine and Fresh One.
The new channels will be launched by a variety of European production companies and are in addition to the 100 channels launched in the U.S. last year. Like the pre-existing American channels, the European channels will be a mix of celebrity-oriented, niche, and established programmes.
It is part of YouTube’s strategy, which began a year ago, to try to attract television viewers and advertisers by helping to produce high-quality videos that cater to niche interests.
All3Media, for example, will launch Daily Mix and Body Talk Daily later this year. Daily Mix is a beauty and makeover channel hosted, launched in partnership with Gleam Digital and Maverick Television. Body Talk Daily is a “health and wellness for body, mind and soul” channel, featuring lifestyle tips, workout regimes, speedy low fat recipes and the latest news and gossip. It is produced for All3Media by Maverick Television.
Meanwhile social entertainment company Big Balls Films is launching YouTube football channel – Copa90 about the world of football beyond the 90 minutes on the pitch.
BBC Worldwide is launching three new channels including a new nature channel On Earth, created by the commercially funded BBC Earth Productions. Another topical science channel, Headsqueeze, produced in partnership with 360 Productions, will launch in early 2013 with James May (pictured above).
Hat Trick Productions is behind comedy channel Bad Teeth, while Shine Group owned ChannelFlip has created HuHa and The Multiverse. Diagonal View and Liberty Bell Productions have produced The Royals.
Other factual programming includes Euronews Knowledge, from news channel Euronews and Truthloader, by ITN Productions.
Other British offerings include co-productions such as Guinness World Records: OMG and The Jamie Oliver Food Channel from Fresh One.
Endemol, FremantleMedia and Zodiak Media are also launching YouTube channels.
Google is reported to be investing a fresh $200 million in the channels — on top of the $100 million it invested last year.
It hopes that advertising revenue will cover the money it pays to media companies to set up the channels. Any surplus money generated on top of the advance will be split between Google and the producers.
Robert Kyncl, VP, Global Head of Content at YouTube said: “From local cuisine, health and wellness and parenting to sports, music, comedy, animation and news, this new line-up of original channels will have something for everyone. They are backed by some of the biggest producers, well-known celebrities and emerging media companies from Europe and the U.S.”
The top 25 original channels average more than a million views a week, according to YouTube, and in the year since original channels were introduced, people have increased the hours they spend watching YouTube each month to four billion from three billion.