YouTube Working on New Approach to Generate Premium Content

-Courting Hollywood and Indie Producers

Two years and $250 million dollars later, not much can be said for YouTube’s 100 premium channel experiment. In fact, YouTube has virtually scrubbed all mention of the endeavor from its sites.

This week, Reuters reported YouTube was in talks with some Hollywood and independent producers about more funding for premium content, citing unnamed sources. It said YouTube is interested in transitioning more of the video offerings on its platform to premium quality, rather than user-generated. Reuters said YouTube may offer producers between $1-3 million in funds to produce content for the platform, and may contribute marketing funds.

Marketing is exactly what caused its first premium content push to flop. YouTube offered content creators money to produce professional video, but didn’t put any marketing behind those channels. Ostensibly, audience development was left up to the individual channels. Once the funding ending, many channels were forced to closed down or seek funding from other sources, whether donations or investment from larger media firms.

YouTube now says those surviving channels represent the top 2% of channels based on subscribers, though most of the channels are nameless and didn’t receive any mainstream attention. The recent marketing campaign YouTube has launched on billboards and subways, which highlights YouTube celebrities such as…

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