updated 03:43 pm EDT, Thu May 3, 2012
Google hosts star-studded event for advertisers
Google is making a big push to try to shake up the worlds of advertising and television. On Wednesday, the company drew advertisers to the Beacon Theater in New York for a star-studded show centering around a $100 million investment in channels across YouTube. The search giant intends to turn its popular video sharing service into the portal for 21st-century video entertainment, replacing cable television much in the same way that cable once overtook broadcast television.
The event signaled the beginning of a $200 million campaign across Google's Content Network, aimed at promoting YouTube's new channels. Google aims to launch 100 new channels focusing on premium content, with the hope of convincing visitors that YouTube is an entertainment destination, rather than a novelty video discovery site.
To help sell advertisers, Google rolled out the red carpet for a number of stars, with Julia Stiles, Flo Rida, and Jennifer Beals among those taking the stage with Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt. The show also featured a surprise performance by Jay-Z.
The largest video site in the world, YouTube has come a long way since its founding. While the site now turns a profit, ongoing concerns over content copyright issues continue to dog the service. Google's stated goal is to make YouTube the programming platform of the future, and the advertising push, if successful, would do a good deal toward realizing that ambition.