Well, it was nice while it lasted. Reports are circling that, when it comes to ratings, apparently the new television is just like the old television as YouTube is apparently preparing to cut some of its funded channels from its official line-up in preparation for a new round of funding in the next few months.
According to a report in the New York Post, the Google subsidiary is looking at the views for each of the roughly 100 different channels that it has invested somewhere in the region of $100-150 million back in February of this year, with a view to focusing on the most successful as it moves into its next round of funding. One anonymous source told the paper that Google is planning to “cull the herd and work with the best,” with another reporting that plans moving forward will see YouTube’s funding go from “a shotgun approach to more of a sniper approach” in terms of who gets the money, and how much money they’ll get.
An unnamed channel partner said that YouTube has until October or November to decide on who will be funded moving forward, with part of the deciding metric being whether or not viewers stick around on a channel long enough to sit through commercials. “If a channel has 20 million views, and viewers spend just 35 seconds on the channel, how valuable is that to an advertiser?” another channel partner was quoted as asking.
YouTube launched its professionally-produced channels this February, with 96 new channels from a wide range of content creators from proven YouTube and viral video successes to celebrities (Amongst them, Amy Poehler, Sofia Vergara and Jay-Z) trying their hand at something new, or companies looking to expand their reach; the New York Post points to The Warner Sound, a channel produced and controlled by Warner Music, as one of the more successful of the new channels. So far, the result have been promising, with YouTube revenue expected to rise around 50 percent by the end of the year, and views up around 33 percent since January. No wonder, then, that the site is looking to expand its investment in the project.
Rumors of increased funding first started circulating earlier this summer, with $200 million being mentioned as the figure YouTube was looking to push into the project (According to the New York Post, much of that money is earmarked for advertising and promotion for the most successful channels). Additionally, sources have said that YouTube has guaranteed $150 million’s worth of advertising for the channels, to ensure another source of revenue.
It’s unclear whether or not YouTube pulling funding of channels will mean the end of the channel; it’s possible that the channels could continue to exist and produce new content through private funding of their own.