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Internet killed the television star
October 29, 2011 11:08 AM   Subscribe

YouTube (Google) is spending $100 million dollars to create 25hrs a day of new original content. Intending to compete with cable TV, they'll have 100 "channels" with regular series and well-known talent. The channels are being developed "specifically for the digital age," which sounds like they're trying to create a new type of media, they compare it to the advent of cable television. There's a graveyard of ideas like this that failed, but maybe YouTube is different this time. First channels show up in a few weeks, most appear in 2012.
posted by stbalbach (51 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's a decent article at WSJ but behind a pay-wall: access by Google search "YouTube Tees Up Big Talent", click-through to the article.

Yeah I know the 25hrs a day doesn't mathematically add up to 100 channels, they also said there would be another 20+ hours of previous TV content, still doesn't add up, we'll have to wait and see how they do it.
posted by stbalbach at 11:09 AM on October 29, 2011


The Limousines called it
posted by The Whelk at 11:13 AM on October 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


(also hey youtube I always wanted a chat show call me)
posted by The Whelk at 11:13 AM on October 29, 2011


Well, if anyone can pull this off, it's probably YouTube/Google. It's a known platform which zillions of people visit every day already, and it already has content ranging from cat videos to well-known whatevers.

The trick is going to be how YouTube will involve people in the channels the way they work on television. If you can't just tune in and have it stream (alongside the possibility of on-demand viewing which has been the mainstay of YT for years), then it's going to end up being a hunt-and-find mission, which is how a lot of things get lost in the noise that is the internet.

I look forward to seeing how this all develops. It could be a complete game changer, or it could be just still more static in a universe of confusing and often under-promoted choices.
posted by hippybear at 11:14 AM on October 29, 2011


I think they're pissing away money, honestly. They'd be better off investing money in people that already have followings on youtube.
posted by empath at 11:14 AM on October 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


also hey youtube I always wanted a chat show call me

Why wait for them to call me? Put together a set, get a few cameras and a small crew, film some episodes with people you already know, and edit and upload them.

Isn't that what the internet video revolution is all about?

Protip: don't have your set feature two ferns. That idea is already taken.
posted by hippybear at 11:15 AM on October 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


They'd be better off investing money in people that already have followings on youtube.

They're partnering with people who already have an online presence. Read the list of new partners in the second link in the FPP. Knights Of Good leapt out at me, but there are others listed there who are already internet famous.
posted by hippybear at 11:16 AM on October 29, 2011


25 hours a day

This feels wrong somehow.
posted by Trurl at 11:17 AM on October 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


Every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube, or about 200,000 videos per day. It will take a person more than 400 years to watch all the videos on YouTube. (source)
posted by crunchland at 11:23 AM on October 29, 2011


comedy shaq network
lionsgate
slate news network
pitchfork tv
posted by past at 11:32 AM on October 29, 2011


and there's wwe, which seems premade for internet televising
posted by past at 11:35 AM on October 29, 2011


100 channels and nothin' on.
posted by telstar at 11:47 AM on October 29, 2011


74 channels will be 24/7 cat videos.
posted by birdherder at 11:49 AM on October 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


(sometime in the near future)

DAMMIT THIS CHANNEL IS NOTHING BUT SIAMESE CATS VOCALIZING I SIGNED UP FOR THE ALL MAINE COON GAMBOLING CHANNEL THIS SUCKS.
posted by The Whelk at 11:56 AM on October 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


How much does a typical TV network spend a year on content production?
posted by gwint at 12:00 PM on October 29, 2011


How much does a typical TV network spend a year on content production?

That's a difficult question, because most TV networks don't actually produce their own programming. They often purchase shows from other production companies to run on their network. There are a lot of network-produced shows, but there are even more which aren't made by any network.
posted by hippybear at 12:09 PM on October 29, 2011


I'm unable to quickly dig up actual facts, but here's an article from May 2011 which says that NBC is spending an additional $300million on programming for all its channels, network and cable combined. So you can be safe in guessing it's well above that dollar amount. I'd guess... close to $1billion for all their programming, including series, reality, news, etc.
posted by hippybear at 12:20 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


But that $1billion is for all their networks, including USA, Syfy, E!, Bravo, and others.
posted by hippybear at 12:22 PM on October 29, 2011


oops. "Here's an article from May 2011"...
posted by hippybear at 12:25 PM on October 29, 2011


if it has SMOSH, Ray William Johnson, Angry Black Man, Awkward Black Girl, MARU and Co. and just for memories' sake Red vs. Blue, then all will be well.

seriously, we rarely watch TV anymore. my kids are the perfect example of the YouTube generation. they spend more hours on YouTube than TV which has been now relegated to being a conduit for Netflix stream, XBox Live and the Wii.
posted by liza at 12:31 PM on October 29, 2011


I'm not holding my breath that Google will understand content any more than it understands platforms.

I don't really want professionally produced shows. I want cat videos, NASA TV archive videos and stupid human tricks.

However, if I was Google I'd put all that money into starting a network of citizen journalism. That's something the internet is lacking, really. Funding for real journalism that isn't beholden to corporate sponsors as it is basically everywhere else.
posted by loquacious at 12:31 PM on October 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's going to be absolutely fucking terrible. Good TV is really, really, really hard to do. Moreover, Google absolutely suck at this kind of thing. Head/desk face/palm.
posted by unSane at 12:48 PM on October 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


However, if I was Google I'd put all that money into starting a network of citizen journalism. That's something the internet is lacking, really. Funding for real journalism that isn't beholden to corporate sponsors as it is basically everywhere else.

So your solution to corporate sponsored journalism is to have a corporation sponsor more journalism? I'm not against the idea in general, but this execution seems a bit off.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:49 PM on October 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


My ideea for google is: Bring back Firefly.

It doesn't even have to have all the original actors as long as you can get Summer Glau you can count me in (with Joss Whedon writing and an occasional guest appearances by Amy Acker it'd be a sure thing!).
posted by cjorgensen at 12:53 PM on October 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Good TV is really, really, really hard to do. Moreover, Google absolutely suck at this kind of thing."

1) It's not TV.
2) Google sucks at YouTube. I see. So that would be why $100 million is a drop in the bucket in terms of cash they get from YouTube?
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:55 PM on October 29, 2011


The Limousines called it

They were ten years too late. To a flash music video parody, no less.
posted by Godwin Interjection at 1:13 PM on October 29, 2011


Google recently reported quarterly revenue of $9.72 billion; not a huge deal for them to spend about 1 percent of that, see how it goes. It'd be really interesting if they decide to spend 10 percent.
posted by ambient2 at 1:28 PM on October 29, 2011


It will be interesting to see what YouTube (Google) does when a new site pops up that rips off their original content, puts ads on it, and doesn't share any of the revenue with YouTube(Google).
posted by three blind mice at 1:40 PM on October 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm cautiously optimistic. Usually when a new network just starts throwing money around in search of content is when some interesting stuff gets made.
posted by Grimgrin at 1:44 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Folks say that the key to a great tv show/film/whatever is, take a beat, "story". And it's so true that the great three minute youtube videos have a clever very concise story (will the cat do something incredible, the toddler walks around the corner and...) but actually for a theatrical production story is just not enough, it needs everything. Great sets, fantastic music, the theme, background where it fits, even in an elevator shot. An actors that come of 'right', it's very different acting for film/tv/broadway/intimate small theater. Actors don't really know what is 'right' for online, is it like tv or is it like silly girl in bedroom talking to her friend? How hard is getting ADR right, an is lighting for online different than tv? No one knows what the story unit will be, tv has hour (47.3 minute) units, will a post-tv-Wagner come along and have some kind of six hour streaming opera/event/tubextravanza that ties up the internet or are we doomed to get new theater in three minute chunks? Good luck Google!
posted by sammyo at 1:44 PM on October 29, 2011


Google TV 2.0
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:48 PM on October 29, 2011


No, THIS is Google TV 2.0. The YouTube thing is content, not hardware.
posted by hippybear at 2:01 PM on October 29, 2011


I see Demand Media has three channels. Presumably they'd show up in the listings but when you actually went to them they'd be showing Rick Astley videos 24/7.
posted by Sparx at 2:16 PM on October 29, 2011


The Vlogbrothers seem to have two channels, which should bring their own Nerdfighter fanbase. The titles alone sound like they'll be instantly loved by BB and the like.

The good thing about Youtube is that it isn't TV. It's people putting out stuff that interests them, which other people can watch at whatever time they want. A TV version with scheduled times seems like it's wanting to have things both ways.

Obviously Google want to have it all ways, but they don't seem to know how to achieve it.
posted by Kaleidolia at 2:23 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


It'll be interesting to see how this goes. Television is a medium where people seek out specific programs they already know about, then spend hours and hours watching them - while Youtube is a medium where you typically hear about a video from somewhere else, then surf over and spend maybe five minutes before leaving. Finding some kind of middle ground between those extremes will be quite a task.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:29 PM on October 29, 2011


It is my sincere hope that this will mean the revival of Hard Drinkin' Lincoln
posted by smcdow at 2:49 PM on October 29, 2011


My ideea for google is: Bring back Firefly.

I think there should be an entire channel of people explaining why Firefly deservedly flopped. It could be intercut with anecdotes from people whose friends won't stop telling them why they should watch it and sneaking it into DVD watching sessions.

Think of the comments it would get!
posted by lesbiassparrow at 3:01 PM on October 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


(I should say that I don't have anything against Firefly; it wasn't my cup of tea, but that's no matter. I am just bemused that despite the failure of the film, people still think it would get an audience if it were on TV now.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 3:07 PM on October 29, 2011


Television, as a medium sucks. It seems like it's all crap. On there, and if the content doesn't insult your inteligence, the ads will. On the other hand, youtube with adblock is awesome. I hope google doesn't want to try to replicat the tv experience on youtube.

I guess some people want to just sit down and turn their brians off and not do anything, but I think (hope) that newer generations will be more used to enteraction in entertainment.

There are some channels I like on youtube, but one thing that bothers me is that it seems like its kind of a pain to browse throug archives of people's stuff. A channel like huskeystarcraft has hundreds of videos, I should be able to go back and find videos by date, or search by tags easily (I e look for a specific user) instead you get one page with lots videos where everything says 1 year ago or whatever.

and the new interface even less control it seems like I want to treat a passive system and dumb things down to the point were you can even find what you want.

Hopefully they're not going to go too much farther in that direction

As far as the content goes I hope they're going to stick with the style of content that's popular on youtube, short clips that the user can select
posted by delmoi at 3:08 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Internet companies that are successful don't make their own content—they rely on their users to do it for them. YouTube is throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars with this because they're afraid the users won't do it for them. And the truth is, if they keep pulling this kind of bullshit that only pisses off users they'll be right and irrelevant in no time.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:22 PM on October 29, 2011


Is delmoi commenting from an iPad?
posted by hippybear at 4:18 PM on October 29, 2011


Psuuuuuuuedo
posted by vicx at 6:14 PM on October 29, 2011


Is delmoi commenting from an iPad?

New phone. It has a physical keyboard, but it's still pretty small.

posted by delmoi at 9:29 PM on October 29, 2011


seconding empath.. what were they thinking?
posted by 3mendo at 2:52 AM on October 30, 2011


YouTube makes piles of money for Google according to at least one report so it's successful in real-world terms, pre-roll ads or not, and it's not like YouTube will actually be the ones making the content, they're leaving that part to industry professionals. (We'll have to wait and see who else they have signed up - the 'big' names the WSJ article drops are names WSJ readers recognize, but theres probably more.)

So why the negativity? Or to put it another way, they're already paying all of the content-producers on YouTube that want to be paid, where else would you go to get more content ? (Or is there something else I'm missing?)
posted by fragmede at 10:26 AM on October 30, 2011


The entire concept of "channels" is outmoded on the Internet. I don't have to watch a "channel" to find good content. I can get individual things from my friends or via websites or via searching, etc.

"Channels" are supposed to curators but are untrustworthy due to the fact that they aren't interested in doing a good job, they are interested in making money.
posted by DU at 10:30 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Channels" are supposed to curators but are untrustworthy due to the fact that they aren't interested in doing a good job, they are interested in making money.
Well, that's true of youtube as a whole, isn't it?
posted by delmoi at 1:39 PM on October 30, 2011


Wait, is this the kind of thing that Youtube is going to be producing? Because if so, awesome
posted by delmoi at 2:20 PM on October 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


holy crap it's a live action venture brothers i want it now now now now gimmie gimmie gimmie
posted by The Whelk at 2:35 PM on October 30, 2011


(I should say that I don't have anything against Firefly; it wasn't my cup of tea, but that's no matter. I am just bemused that despite the failure of the film, people still think it would get an audience if it were on TV now.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 3:07 PM on October 29 [+] [!]


I was, and still am, a huge fan of Firefly - and even *I* want people to shut the fuck up about it. The show ain't never comin' back, 'least not in TV form - accept it.
posted by cerulgalactus at 6:19 PM on October 30, 2011


check out the NetFlix, Dana Brunetti original production idea..long interview but good.
http://twit.tv/show/triangulation/29
posted by judson at 7:07 AM on October 31, 2011


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