Just a year after investing a whopping $100 million into content creators on video sharing site YouTube, Google is set to pump extra cash into the site's biggest success stories, to create more original video content.
The Internet giant is looking to YouTube partners to produce original content to keep the site the most popular video destination on the web.
YouTube receives millions of searches every day and has become a go-to destination for web users, whether they want access entertainment and music, or to see products or services in action before committing to buy. As such, YouTube is currently one of the most powerful sites for social media marketing.
It previously motivated creators with payments between $1m and $5m dollars to help create unique content for the site.
Now, it is looking to plough further money into more original content: but will only select the most successful 30 to 40% of its partners to receive a precept.
Google announced the initial project late in 2011. Clearly, trying to create a replacement for television required a similar strategy to most multinational broadcasters: a rich variety of unique, interesting content.
The company had hoped to team up with the amateurs gaining worldwide exposure, as well as traditional Hollywood studios and film producers.
However, certain ideas fell flat with viewers who were after videos which relied on more than just a celebrity name being involved. More successful areas included programmes that appealed to a younger demographic; in particular humour, music, cars and sports.
YouTube's Global Head of Content Strategy, Jamie Byrne, said YouTube would be selective in handing out extra cash to content creators: choosing to focus on those who were most successful.
He said: "We looked at viewership they've been able to achieve, the cost of the content, and from that we are able to determine the channels that are delivering the best return on our investment."
Partners who received an initial payment from Google, but who haven't been selected for the new round of funding, will have to decide if they will produce more content for YouTube: a difficult decision, given that not only will they have to continue to make content without the backing of Google, they will also not be able to sell their own ads until YouTube has recouped its initial investment.
This is complicated enough - but AdAge has reported that even the successful programmes are unsure if they have recouped Google's investment as "YouTube hasn't been communicating that information."
YouTube's top 25 channels now average over a million views a week, with the top 33 having over 100,000 subscribers.
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