YouTube to launch original programming
In a move away from its user-generated roots, YouTube has announced it plans to launch more than 100 new video channels.
The Google-owned site will partner with Hollywood production companies, celebrities and music artists to produce content for niche markets.
Celebrity participants include Madonna, former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, comedian Amy Poehler, actress Sofia Vergara, actors Ashton Kutcher and Rainn Wilson and spiritual doctor Deepak Chopra.
Content is also expected to be provided by the Wall Street Journal, WWE, news satire The Onion, non-profit group TED, InStyle Magazine and independent film studio Lionsgate, amongst other media companies.
YouTube says the channels will add 25 hours of new original content daily, with dozens of web series debuting at scheduled times.
"Today, the web is bringing us entertainment from an even wider range of talented producers, and many of the defining channels of the next generation are being born, and watched, on YouTube," global head of content partnerships Robert Kyncl said.
YouTube is reportedly paying $100 million to producers – an advance on advertising money the videos will expectedly bring in.
A preview site has already been launched, although it is unclear what content will be available to Australian users. The channels will roll out beginning this month, though most will premiere next year.
This comes after British band Coldplay recently streamed a live concert on the video channel's website.
The digital version of the performance – which was held in Madrid, Spain – allowed users to switch between several different camera views including a director’s cut, main stage and an aerial camera.
YouTube successfully streamed live acts from the Coachella Festival earlier this year, including Kanye West, Kings of Leon and Duran Duran.