More than one year after its inception, the YouTube Original Channels Initiative has to be considered a success. A good number of the 100 channels included in the behemoth funding round now average over a million views a week, and we’ve seen some of our favorite channels–including AwesomenessTV, MyDamnChannel, and Vice–grow into successful hubs for premium original content.
Google must agree that the experiment has been worth its $100 million price tag, because they’re doing it all over again. YouTube is investing more money into its initial slate of Original Channels, taking a more targeted approach to ensure that none of its support goes to waste. Expect top performers, such as Machinima Prime and SourceFed, to receive more funds at the expense of some of the project’s less successful channels (we hope Bonaroo365 and American Hipster will forgive us for saying that they are unlikely to get any more $$$ from YouTube.)
In the end, Google’s main priority is turning a profit, so they’re going to invest in channels that will strike a chord with YouTube’s fairly young target demographic. “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,” said Jamie Byrne, Google’s Head of Content Strategy.
This announcement comes on the heels of the recent 60-channel expansion of the Original Channels Initiative, which has already bore fruit from new additions such as Above Average and Bad Teeth. With this new round of funding, expect the heavy hitters to see an uptick in the amount of content they are able to produce.