Last Friday, Google-owned YouTube revealed plans to launch more than 100 original-content channels. The announcement included a timeline for rolling out new content in November.
YouTube hopes to improve the production quality of its videos, making the site more attractive for both users and advertisers. Channels will offer free content from celebrities like Shaq and Amy Poehler, along with content producers like WWE and TED conferences.
Reportshave circulated that the channels are backed by a $100 million investment by YouTube, with some producers and media companies receiving as much as $5 million apiece. YouTube plans to recoup the investment through a split of the ad revenue generated from the new content channels.
Youtube’s announcement came the same day Google announced software updates for its Google TV device. The Internet-search giant released the TV last year to lukewarm sales, in part due to major networks blocking Google TV’s browser from their websites.
Users can now easily search for videos across apps, YouTube, Netflix, their cable service and more. The new app ‘TVs and Movies’ allows users to scroll through more than 75,000 episodes and movies from a range of platforms.
The ‘TV & Movies’ app is where Google TV does something no cable provider could do. Google uses its talent for search to create infinite viewing possibilities for consumers. Interested in skateboarding? Search with Google TV and you’ll be given results to watch Tony Hawk’s RIDE channel, a skateboarding documentary from Netflix, and previous seasons of MTV’s Rob and Big from Amazon Instant Video; along with millions of amateur videos from YouTube.
Any topic keyword can be turned into hours of viewing pleasure, with no thought to what time a show airs. Eliminating hours of wasted channel flipping, you can scroll through interesting content from networks, cable, and Internet sources in one place. Nowhere before has a device aggregated so many ways to watch into one place, with a sleek Android platform to support the viewing experience.
While Mario Quieroz, head of Google TV, has stood firm in his assertion that Google TV is not seeking to replace cable providers, Google TV’s new set of features surely provides incentive to anyone who is considering cutting the cord. With Google TV’s ‘TV & Movies’ app, people may slowly begin to realize that they have little use for their cable subscription when so many alternatives exist.
Google TVhardware is installed in the Sony Internet TV or as a standalone device from either Sony or Logitech to be used with a HDTV. It is too early to predict whether or not this device will take the place of cable, but YouTube’s channel roll-outs and updates to Google TV give cable execs a reason to worry.