YouTube cutting 60 or 70 percent of its originally funded channels

YouTube channels original contentIt’s been known for awhile that YouTube was investing an additional $200 million for a second round of funding for its Original Channel Initiative. In October, we reported on the new slate of more than 60 partners that came not only from the United States, but also internationally from the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. And at the time, all we knew about existing channels is that they were waiting to hear from YouTube about their own fates’. Now, AdAge has learned that just between 30 and 40 percent of its original channels will receive a second round of funding from its $200 million investment.

It’s not unreasonable to call YouTube’s initial $100 million investment in these original programming an experiment. While the process of weeding out the first round of applicants was cut-throat, Google was moving forward with a limited vision of the future and hopeing that some channels would pay back the investment. For the most part, this has been a success and the network has numbers to brag about. 

The top 25 channels on average have each garnered 100,000 subscribers, and one million weekly views. To give you an idea of YouTube at a glance, exec Laura Lee disclosed at Ad:Tech that the social video site is on 350 million devices, and 800 million users are visiting YouTube on a monthly basis. To put this into perspective, this equals to four billion viewing hours — or like watching seven Super Bowls every 30 seconds. Of course this time around, YouTube hopes to see larger numbers since the company has a better idea about what to expect with the new round of funding.

“Our biggest objective was to kick-start the ecosystem, to bring in great creators, to deepen our relationships with advertisers and to grow viewership,” YouTube Global Head of Content Strategy Jamie Byrne told AdAge.

One thing that YouTube has likely learned is the fact that celebrity-backed channels “[weren’t] enough.” Knowing that some celebrities sparsely use their fame to promote the shows that they’re a part of, many celeb-backed channels will not be immune to being axed. Among these include Rainn Wilson (Soul Pancake), Chris Hardwick (The Nerdish Channel), Felicia Day (Geek & Sundry), Tony Hawk (RIDE Channel), and others.

Channels that do make it back for the second round of funding will reportedly receive a “loan” this time between $1 million and $5 million. The deal that channels strike with YouTube includes recouping YouTube’s investments through advertising revenue earned until the loan is paid off. The channels can only then sell their own ads and begin to generate revenue.

But the feat of paying back the loan is particularly difficult, AdAge reports, since it would take approximately 50 million views to pay back just $1 million of YouTube’s funding.

YouTube has been quite clear about its desire to compete with television, but it’s a long journey ahead. TV viewers are watching four hours and 38 minutes of broadcasting in one month, which is far more than the five hours that viewers are watching on average per month via YouTube. But programming like Machinima’s wildly successful Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Web series and its latest series, Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome are higher quality than much of what weve seen before, and the volume of viewers shows there’s easily potential for original programming to compete with TV.


Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Home Theater

MGM joins the streaming mega-race with launch of Epix Now service

In a widely anticipated move, MGM has launched Epix Now, a streaming platform that combines all four of its live TV channels, and a huge catalog of thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows.

Amazon has another shot at a live shopping channel like QVC

Amazon has launched a QVC-style shopping channel featuring slick shows produced in-house and presentations posted by brands. Viewers can interact with presenters, while a carousel below the video highlights the show's products.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.

These wireless earbuds use an A.I. to get you moving faster

The new Soul Blade wireless earbuds provide the ability to track your heart rate during a workout while an A.I.-powered coach gives advice and info on how to improve form and efficiency while exercising.
Product Review

Focal’s ultra-clear Sphear Wireless bring sexy back to banded Bluetooth buds

Focal’s Sphear Wireless are a sleek and simple pair of banded Bluetooth earbuds with exceptional sound and an affordable price, making them some of the only non-true wireless earbuds we’d consider buying right now.

Walmart drops prices on Samsung 4K TVs during Presidents’ Day sale

With 8K TVs on the horizon, the cost of owning a 4K Ultra HD television has dropped pretty significantly in recent years, and this Walmart Presidents' Day sale is offering some great prices.
Home Theater

Apple will reportedly launch its new video-streaming service at March 25 event

The rumors about what Apple will announce at a March 25 event continue to swirl. A new report suggests that it will debut its much-anticipated video-streaming service, which will compete with Netflix and Amazon's Prime Video.
Home Theater

Bose’s technology patents could save an earbud’s battery life

Possibly taking a cue from Apple's popular AirPods, Bose filed a patent application for earbud IR technology that could save battery life, improve sound quality, and possibly help people locate lost earbuds.
Home Theater

ATSC 3.0: The next-gen TV update explained

ATSC 3.0 is the next major update to the broadcast standard we use today. Will this be the second coming of free, over-the-air TV? We're here to explain everything about the new standard.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.