Just under a year into YouTube’s original channel venture, it's trimming the content fat. According to All Things D, YouTube will only be re-investing in 40 percent of the 160 or so channels it has financed since the initiative’s January launch. The channels, which range from The Onion to Jay-Z's Life and Times, are an effort to produce original, quality content that the video site can use to compete with traditional cable and network programming, both for viewer attention and advertising dollars. Earlier this year, YouTube pledged an unprecedented $200 million in marketing support for the content.
As for the channels whose deals don’t get renewed, YouTube will continue to keep 100 percent of incoming revenue for those channels that failed to recoup their initial investments. But the decision of which channels to ditch reportedly doesn’t revolve around revenue. Instead, YouTube’s director of content strategy tells All Things D that the company’s primary criteria are cost and total watch time.
Disclosure: SB Nation, our sister site, is one of YouTube’s content partners.
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