Google’s YouTube to produce more than 40 original shows

“YouTube plans to produce a half-dozen original series that will be available for free on the world’s most popular video website, a big expansion of the Google-owned company’s programming and efforts to attract advertisers,” Lucas Shaw and Mark Bergen report for Bloomberg. “Comedian Kevin Hart, talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres and the comedy duo Rhett & Link are producing unscripted shows that will debut this year, YouTube will announce at an event for advertisers in New York Thursday. Alphabet Inc.’s Google also will increase its spending on YouTube Red, a paid video and music streaming service launched in October 2015.”

“As more digital rivals venture into high-quality programming, YouTube is feeling pressure to respond, devoting resources to more costly projects and aiming for a wider audience,” Shaw and Bergen report. “The company will fund more than 40 original shows and movies in the next year, spending hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a person familiar with the plans.”

“YouTube’s parent Google reported more than $21 billion in ad sales in the first quarter — more than the entire U.S. TV industry. Google has already captured ad budgets that went to print. Now the company wants a larger share from TV,” Shaw and Bergen report. “The funding of shows with commercials won’t reduce YouTube’s commitment to the $9.99-a-month Red, which doesn’t have ads. The company backed almost 30 programs on Red last year, and plans to spend even more this year and next. YouTube has talked to partners about releasing programs on Red that cost $3 million to $6 million per hour — budgets comparable to HBO and Showtime, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing the private spending plans.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Over-the-top content is really getting interesting now.

Hopefully Apple has a plan regarding where they want to fit in here as their non-4K “hobby” Apple TV was technically inferior the day it launched and their content plans seem confused/nonexistent beyond throwing ever more app icons into the UI and incompletely organizing the mess with their TV app that’s missing major players.

Maybe we’ll finally see some real results from years and years of “pulling the string on Apple TV” at WWDC next month?


  1. Apple = Too busy checking out their new Apple Park digs, vs getting things done. Who on earth is buying Mac’s and iPads? Seriously, their products in the stores should be in Computer History museums…

  2. Google = Rogue. Youtube = Rogue.

    The days of rogues are only beginning?

    It pays off to be a thief nowaday.

    Little thief, no, gigantic corporate thief, yes.

  3. The spin was that the Beats acquisition would give Apple a lot of sway in Hollywood. When exactly is that going to start paying dividends? Amazon and Netflix are competing for awards while Apple is going to give us, wait for it… Planet of the Apps? Apple Music isn’t even half as popular as Spotify with no obvious prospect of that changing and Iovine wants it to be “a movement in popular culture”?

  4. If there is one area that Apple is consistently misfiring on it is Apple TV and Content. This reminds me of the early days of MP3 and jukebox music players, when Apple bought SoundJam MP3 which became iTunes and then introduced the iPod. Remember MusicMatch, RealPlayer & and Windows Media Player? Seems to me that they are going to have to make an acquisition to move TV & Content forward again. Unlike back then, this is a much higher stakes gamble. Producing content is more fickle. Seems to me they would be better off aggregating content from everyone, than doing it themselves.

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