updated 10:50 am EDT, Thu October 27, 2011
YouTube may have cable TV rival up in days
YouTube's professional video channels may be active within a week, anonymous tips maintained on Thursday. The details obtained by the WSJ suggest a broader strategy than thought before and would involve a redesign of the site itself, focusing on channels whether they're live or traditional YouTube subscriptions. Some of the live producers would be takes with filling in specific categories, such as comedy, food, or news.
Although the content producers have already been mentioned and would include production houses such as IAC's Electus, News Corp.'s ShineReveille, and even skateboarder Tony Hawk, the content would focus on original shows rather than variations on traditional TV. Internet-first sources like game video creator Machinima are also purportedly being tapped to appeal to some of YouTube's existing audience.
Google is thought to be paying anywhere between $100 million to $150 million in cash advances to get the content and will rely on its usual ad revenue to help make up for the initial expense.
The goal is still believed to be nothing less than creating an Internet-only alternative to cable or satellite TV, with 24 or more channels producing shows as good as or better than on traditional formats. Along with turning YouTube into more of a home for high-quality content, it's believed that Google is trying to create meaningful content to watch on Google TV. The platform was initially launched last year on the assumption that TV studios would be happy to mix their Internet sites with a conventional TV box, but few companies embraced that position. Most instead blocked Google TV outright and left the Android-based set-top without its main sources of mainstream Internet video where the Apple TV, Boxee Box, and Roku had much more selection.