Sunday, The New York Times published an article about the beloved online video platform YouTube and how it plans to reinvigorate itself by adding an additional 50 “original channels” to the 100 that have been released in the past year. The Times also says that YouTube will expand these original channels to France, Britain, and Germany.
Original channels are, as The Times describes them, “polished, highly produced videos financed by YouTube.” Some examples of original channels would be ABC News, Taylor Swift, or Nike Football. As you can see, each original channel has a very specific audience or “niche” market.
In addition to the New York Times’ article, YouTube posted an entry on their blog Sunday entitled “YouTube’s original channels go global,” which discussed the new channels. “We’re excited to launch a new generation of original channels coming from France, Germany, the UK and the US,” YouTube stated in their post. The entry went on to say that top 25 original channels are astoundingly averaging over a million views per week. They concluded that the massive popularity of these channels has inspired them to create more channels and more content for viewers to follow and “fall in love with.”
The New York Time article, titled “YouTube to Serve Niche Tastes by Adding Channels” focused on just how amazingly popular these channels are becoming, and even posed the question: will online video platforms eventually replace television? James L. McQuivey, who studies digital video and television at Forrester, says that no online video platform, especially Google (who owns YouTube), has invested enough money in their site to even come close to replacing television. In other words, these online video platforms have not been capitalized to their full potential.
Personally, I think that these new channels are a great addition to YouTube. Yes, it’s fun to look up random videos of laughing babies or crazy cats, but the original channels are a great way to expose yourself to things that you are specifically interested in. If YouTube, Hulu, and other platforms continue to be as successful as they are now, I think that there is definitely potential for them to compete neck-in-neck with television. As for now, there’s 50 new YouTube channels I’ve got to go check out!<