YouTube in Hollywood talks to broadcast films and TV shows
YouTube has embarked on a new round of discussions with Hollywood and independent producers to fund premium content, a move that could bolster a three-year-old multimillion-dollar effort that has had mixed success so far.
The talks underscore Google's desire to complete YouTube's transition from a repository for grainy home videos to a site sporting the more polished content crucial to securing higher-priced advertising.
Over the past two months, YouTube executives have begun making the rounds, talking to Hollywood producers to explore the kinds of support it could offer its content creators and produce more must-see programming. Executives did not lay out exactly how a program would be structured. The site may offer between $1m (€750,000) and $3m to produce a series of programs, and might contribute marketing funds as well. The site may also be interested in videos shorter than the 30-minute, TV network-quality Web shows that Amazon.com Inc and other online sites have recently funded.
"We are always exploring various content and marketing ideas to support and accelerate our creators," a YouTube representative said in an email. The site declined to comment on the meetings.
The latest round of discussions is in its initial phases and actual measures may never materialize, sources said.
YouTube is the world's most popular location for video streaming, with more than 1 billion unique visitors a month, far surpassing Netflix and Amazon. But it is trying to lure more marketers for premium video advertising.
YouTube set aside $100m in late 2011 to bankroll some 100 channels, though it never confirmed amounts spent or other details. Beneficiaries of that largesse included Madonna and ESPN, but few of those have garnered much mainstream attention. (Reuters)