Google recently announced it will re-invest in the first 100-or-so YouTube Original Channels, dropping more money into a selection of its partners. But rumor has it only 30 or 40% of the initial channels will receive additional funds. So, the next question is obvious: Which YouTube Original Channels will make the cut?
The initiative’s top offerings, such as SourceFed, Machinima Prime, and Red Bull, are highly likely to be among the renewed. Some under-the-radar channels, however, will also be included. Here are five channels that may not seem like obvious choices for an added investment, but are, in our minds, likely to receive more funds once all the contracts are signed.
Note: Each profile makes use of Deadline‘s most recent weekly rankings, which list the Original Channels in terms of recent views, and AdAge‘s overall rankings, which list the Original Channels by total views.
Channel Name: Maker Music
Description: Maker Music is one of three YouTube Original Channels recently launched by Maker Studios. It is dedicated to showcasing performances from up-and-coming musicians.
Stats: 28,721 subs, 3,972,552 views, 93rd in Deadline rankings, 87th in AdAge rankings.
Why will it get renewed? At first glance, Maker Music’s comparatively paltry traffic makes it seem like an unlikely candidate for renewal. However, YouTube has plenty of reasons to build a strong relationship with Maker Studios; given Maker’s massive reach and Time Warner’s recent investment in the company, the dynamic studio will be a massive player in online video for years to come. Think of this investment as an arranged wedding of sorts.
Likelihood: 90%. If Maker Music doesn’t get renewed, Tutele or Mom’s View will; however, given the popularity of music channels, our money’s on Maker Music.
Channel Name: YOMYOMF
Description: Justin Lin’s premium content hub features appearances from popular YouTube stars such as Ryan Higa, KevJumba, and Chester See.
Stats: 461,461 subs, 30,206,541 views, 55th in Deadline rankings, 27th in AdAge rankings.
Why will it get renewed? YOMYOMF’s traffic seems low until you realize it only began in earnest six months ago. Since then, it’s drawn a large number of subscribers. When you add in its appeal to YouTube’s ubiquitous young male demographic and the traffic it reels in from its association with big YouTube stars, I’d expect YOMYOMF’s fairly low view count to be of no concern to Google.
Channel Name: Slatester
Description: Slatester is the official YouTube channel of Slate, featuring offbeat yet newsy videos.
Stats: 20,069 subs, 51,935,040 views, 52nd in Deadline rankings, 21st in AdAge rankings.
Why will it get renewed? The success of YouTube’s election coverage informed Google of the potential of political videos on the Internet, and they would be remiss to not make a further investment in news media. There are several news channels in the Original Channels Initiative, but Slatester has the right combination of informative content and witty Internet snark.
Likelihood: 80%. The Political Kombat videos were brilliant. They alone should guarantee renewal.
Channel Name: MyDamnChannel
Description: MyDamnChannel’s own Google description says it best: “Award-winning original web series. Comedy. Music. Smart and funny videos from the best comedians, actors and musicians.”
Stats: 166,622 subs, 69,706,907 views, 64th in Deadline rankings, 16th in AdAge rankings.
Why will it get renewed? The Original Channels Initiative taught YouTube that the presence of a Hollywood celebrity is not enough to make a successful channel. Web celebs, however, fared quite well. Phil DeFranco’s SourceFed, Smosh’s ShutUp Cartoons, and Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry are all among the project’s most popular offerings. For that reason, along with its appeal towards the younger YouTube demographic, MyDamnChannel and its bevy of web stars should see renewal. Daily Grace’s appearance in YouTube’s 2012 Rewind video made this even clearer.
Likelihood: 80%. MyDamnChannel Live deserves an added investment. It’s an experiment for both My Damn Channel and Youtube in live daily programming and both companies want to see its continued success.
Channel Name: LOUD
Description: LOUD focuses on reality and comedy shows, most of which are in some way related to the music industry.
Stats: 74,077 subs, 17,837,039 views, strangely unlisted in Deadline rankings (30th two weeks ago), 45th in AdAge rankings.
Why will it get renewed? LOUD and HUNGRY, in addition to both being very fond of capital letters, are both produced by the Electus studio; Electus is funded by IAC, the gigantic Internet company with whom YouTube would be smart to ally. Also, both channels have consistently produced high-quality reality YouTube programming. LOUD gets the edge over HUNGRY because of its upcoming Eminem web series, which has the potential to drive huge traffic if marketed well.
Likelihood: 75%. But if LOUD doesn’t make the cut, odds are good HUNGRY will.
Agree with our choices? Disagree? Love us? Hate us? Did we snub your favorite underappreciated channel? If so, let us know in the comments.