It’s kind of hilarious reading a detailed, insider-resourced article about a new plan from Google, the bulk of which is dedicated to how hard they’re working to keep it secret! The report comes from (of course) Deadline, and details the tech monolith’s plan to augment YouTube into a full-on original content aggregator (and possibly compete more aggressively with TV?) by funding 25 professionally produced content channels on YouTube, with partners like Warner Brothers and other providers/studios. They plan on dumping 150 million clams into the endeavor, recouping their costs through (of course) advertising.
There’s a lot of reason for the focus on secrecy that Deadline (and now people like me) are royally fucking up. The deal sounds like it’s going to infuriate cable providers and network affiliates, and the studios are looking for their own compromises. That’s a lot of muddy water for Google to walk through. There’s also a lot of details to figure out about who owns the content, how funding is divided, and who controls the ad sales. The latter is extremely important as advertising is Google’s entire reason for existing, and the portion of the deal over which they’d want to have the most control.
There aren’t any more details about what kind of content they plan on producing or what the exact distribution model will be, but this will be huge news once its fully explained. It’s expected that big G will announce something formally by the end of the month, preceding a January launch of the channels.
This could be truly huge news, depending on exactly what it is that Google is trying to accomplish. Years ago Google was dedicated to staying mostly out of the content game, leaving that up to Apple and Amazon. Now as the pie from which everyone draws becomes more amorphous, everyone is piling in. This game is becoming a giant raging war between Netflix, Google, Hulu, Movie Theaters, Cable Providers, Apple, the Studios, Amazon and everyone else, with the uncertainty of the market’s future clouding the battlefield thick with smoke. Expect to see a lot of these companies coming up with new ideas and experimenting with new models in an attempt to find an edge…
What do you think this deal could morph into?