In 2017, at its annual Brandcast, YouTube revealed its plan to release ad-supported original programs that would live alongside the subscription-supported shows and movies it distributes through its YouTube Red platform. A year later, YouTube used its 2018 Brandcast to announce a second wave of ad-supported originals. The video site’s Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncl, unveiled five new projects, including efforts from Will Smith and Priyanka Chopra. In addition, YouTube will renew three of the best-performing programs from its first wave of premium, ad-supported content.
Smith, who has proven himself to be quite the vlogger since launching his YouTube channel at the start of 2018, will record a live streaming special called The Jump Off in which he will bungie jump out of a helicopter above the Grand Canyon. The stunt, which will air on Smith’s birthday, September 25, is inspired by a challenge from another channel, Yes Theory.
Chopra’s contribution to YouTube’s ad-supported block, titled If I Could Just Tell You One Thing, will feature interviews with notable and inspirational people. Other shows that will join the ad-supported lineup are related to the wide world of sports. They include Best Shot, a documentary co-produced by Lebron James and distributed on the official NBA YouTube channel, which will cover the struggles and successes of a high school basketball team in Newark, as well as the previously-announced Jack Whitehall’s Training Days.
“We know YouTube is great at entertaining the world, but we see an opportunity to evolve and dig a little deeper,” Kyncl said. “This year, we’re using the global reach of YouTube to shine a light on the human stories that inspire us, make us smarter and demonstrate the potential of what we can achieve.”
Kyncl also noted that the seven programs in YouTube’s ad-supported originals lineup that have been released so far have totaled more than 700 million views. Three of them — Kevin Hart: What The Fit, The Super Slow Show, and a documentary-based partnership with Demi Lovato — will return for another go. The status of the other four hasn’t yet been publicly revealed.
Here, via a press release, are details about the original programs YouTube discussed at Brandcast:
New shows announced this evening:
Will Smith: The Jump Off: In partnership with Westbrook Entertainment, Will Smith is going to epic heights in his new YouTube Original, Will Smith: The Jump Off. In this special, Will accepts the ultimate YouTube fan challenge to bungee jump from a helicopter—all to raise awareness for charity. The cameras will follow him as he prepares for the big jump, which we’ll live stream on his birthday.
Priyanka Chopra: If I Could Tell You Just One Thing: From Sundog Pictures, Priyanka Chopra will go on a personal journey to meet the world’s most successful and inspirational people—each time asking them for advice they feel can change the world. From actors and politicians to religious leaders and environmentalists, star of the show Priyanka will speak with the people who will go down in history as having challenged the status quo.
Jack Whitehall: Training Days: In this show, comedian and actor Jack Whitehall trains with the world’s most elite soccer players—and has a little behind-the-scenes fun in the process. Sponsored by Wendy’s in the U.S., Training Days is executive produced by James Corden and Fulwell 73 and will launch to fans around the world on Jack’s YouTube channel on May 9th, ahead of the World Cup.
Best Shot: Executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, Best Shot is a new documentary-series following the Newark Central High School Blue Devils as they find community through basketball and receive mentorship from former NBA player Jay Williams. Directed by Michael John Warren and produced by SpringHill Entertainment and Boardwalk Pictures in association with Blue Ribbon Content, Best Shot will debut on the NBA YouTube channel this summer.
After generating significant viewership, we’re bringing back these audience favorites:
Untitled Demi Lovato Project: In her new YouTube Original, Demi is returning to show fans a side of herself beyond her music to raise awareness about issues that matter. Demi will draw from personal experiences and passions to pay it forward to some of her biggest fans and closest friends. From Philymack Productions and London Alley.
The Super Slow Show Season 2: In partnership with Rooster Teeth Productions, the Slow Mo Guys are returning with a renewed focus on science, technology, engineering and math. Through the lens of education, the Slow Mo Guys will explore the tiniest phenomena and greatest spectacles—all in slow motion.
Kevin Hart: What the Fit Season 2: Kevin Hart is returning with even bigger punch lines and celebrity guests. In partnership with Lionsgate and Laugh Out Loud Network, this second season will raise more awareness of healthy living and wellness, as Kevin and his celebrity friends try out some of the most unique and outlandish workout routines.