Viral videos have caught a cold, seems to be the philosophy at YouTube. To this end, Google is to fund another 60 TV channels, as it chases advertising revenue at its video sharing site. The idea is to make YouTube more similar to TV, with access to more original programming and and fewer finger-biting, dentist-visiting clips.
In order to realize this, YouTube is reaching out to established program makers in Europe. The BBC, which has become adept at sharing its original content with web-savvy world citizens, today announced two new YouTube channels from its Worldwide arm, one covering nature, the other topical science.
This push towards proper TV programming has not been without controversy. Some partners have complained that YouTube has not given them much guidance on the subject of programming. Once the funding was handed over, they were left to their own devices with the marketing and distribution of content. But Peter Kafka's interview with Robert Kyncl, Google's VP of TV and Entertainment, reveals just how much the web can learn from traditional television. "What audience development on YouTube really means is taking the marketing function from the TV channel, plus the programming function from the TV channel, and combining them."
[Image by Robyn Twomey. Robert Kyncl is sitting on the far end of the sofa.]