There’s more than one Super Bowl halftime show this year, and no, we’re not talking about the puppy bowl. Google’s video behemoth YouTube recently announced it will be producing an alternative halftime show during Super Bowl XLIX featuring some of your favorite YouTube stars. The service will live stream the show alongside the regular halftime show, hoping to catch wandering eyes from the NFL-sanctioned performance featuring Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz.
YouTube’s program will be hosted by Harley Morenstein, creator of the YouTube cooking show Epic Meal Time. The show will feature musical performances, fake Super Bowl ads, and theatrics such as people jumping from platforms into pools of cheese, according to Morenstein speaking with Bloomberg News. Despite some unconventional shenanigans, the show will feature the cream of the YouTube crop, as the channels participating are said to possess a combined 60 million subscribers.
The show will be produced by YouTube in conjunction with Collective Digital Studio, a Los Angeles online video network at YouTube’s Los Angeles studio YouTube Space LA. YouTube will also bring back AdBlitz, the service’s specialized channel allowing viewers to vote on their favorite regular Super Bowl ads, for the seventh time. Last year, 6.3 million hours were spent on YouTube watching Super Bowl ads.
YouTube and its 1 billion monthly unique visitor base has been the default platform for brands to drudge up attention for upcoming Super Bowl ads by posting short teaser clips prior to the big game, but that is set to change. Anheuser-Busch, GoDaddy, and first-time advertiser Wix will all put teaser ads on Facebook instead of YouTube. In Novemeber 2013, Facebook’s video content accumulated 66,194,000 unique visitors compared to the 163,504,000 unique visitors of Google Sites with most coming from YouTube. A year later, Facebook’s unique vistors’ numbers increased by over 43 percent to 99,005,000 while Google Sites slipped to 162,160,000.
The cost for 30-second Super Bowl TV ads will be the highest ever this year, with prices starting at $4.5 million, up from last year’s record at $4 million. YouTube has not revealed pricing for its own Super Bowl ad spots, but with the new halftime show in tow the service is no doubt hoping to drum up some new business as more and more eyes turn to the second screen during the big game.