The YouTube Original Channel Initiative, two years later
In October 2011, the YouTube Original Channel Initiative was created and resulted in a substantial number of celebrities and regular people alike seeking a piece of the $100 million investment pie.
Designed to kick start Google TV, these channels either created entirely new brands, or allowed established content creators to expand outwards in an effort to gain more viewers and advertising revenue. YouTube doubled down on their gamble a year later and offered another $200 million stimulus to the program by giving chosen channels an additional investment.
However, a few things went wrong. The initiative was a relative failure, as the vast majority of channels were unable to recuperate the initial investment.
This concept of large-scale investing also began to alienate the more amateur core that made up the vast majority of YouTube video-makers, and demonstrated a polarizing focus on a television-like format, as opposed to than the conventional viral video approach.
The second round of investment was more intensely focused, and cut the initial 160 channels down to around 60, leaving many content creators behind. The ones that did manage to break through and add a respectable amount of viewers tended to be established brands rather than new channles. Examples of these well-known brands include the WWE, Red Bull, Mondo Media, The Onion, ESPN’s Grantland and Pitchfork.
Larger name celebrities that joined the initial wave, including Shaquille O’Neal, Tony Hawk, Madonna and Amy Poehler, have mostly moved on from the experment. These people either returned to their respective media careers, receive a small amount of views relative to their public status, or no longer release many videos.
YouTube has since switched over to smaller grants to those who already have experience in online videos, demonstrating that they have learned from their mistakes. The site has tended to work best when channel content is not forced, but order viagra develops and grows over a period of time (with the occasional phenomenon here and there).
If content creators show consistency in their craft, they can always apply for the YouTube Partner Program, which offers programs to help uploaders monetize their work and expand their audience.
What has changed for the common viewer over the past two years as a result of the Original Channel Initiative? Not a lot. Besides the influx of videos around the time of the initiatives, and the lingering presence of established brands, only some original content emerged.
Yet, the lessons learned from this Initiative, an often overlooked aspect of the Internet’s short history, show how truly unique modern media is and how carefully it must be managed in order to satisfy its users.