Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Google to overhaul YouTube With 'Channels'.
Google Inc.'s YouTube video website is working on a major site overhaul to organize its content around "channels" as it positions itself for the rise of Internet-connected televisions that allow people to watch online video in their living rooms, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company is planning changes to the homepage that would highlight sets of channels around topics such as arts and sports. YouTube is looking to introduce 20 or so "premium channels" that would feature five to 10 hours of professionally-produced original programming a week, one of these people said. Additional channels would be assembled from content already on the site.
It is planning to spend as much as $100 million to commission the creation of original content for the premium channels, the people familiar with the matter said.
The efforts represent a new phase for YouTube, which for years built its site to drive traffic to individual videos and to help those clips go viral. Now, it is trying to get people to spend more time on the site by creating a network of ad-supported channels that users come to YouTube to tune in to.
Some of the channels may contain content that is hand-picked by certain "tastemakers" who could attract a following, some of the people familiar with the matter said. That approach would mirror websites such as SlackerRadio.com, Live365.com, and SomaFM.com which collectively have thousands of specialized Internet-radio stations whose songs were picked by individual DJs.