Google has acquired Next New Networks as a key part of its strategy to bring more and better original content to YouTube. While it doesn’t mean an end to countless videos of cats doing crazy things, the implication is clear: original programming is the future for the site.
YouTube was built on a firm footing of user-generated content. In its early days some of that was legally questionable, but once Google acquired the site and set about cleaning up its act YouTube became the most popular video sharing site on the Web.
But while basic UGC is one thing, original programming made specially for the Web is quite another. And that looks to be the area Google is keen to exploit as it takes YouTube to the next level.
Google Acquires Next New Networks
As expected, Google has acquired Next New Networks, a company which has built its reputation by creating themed networks, including Barely Political, Indy Mogul, and Comedy Thunder. Some of the individual shows in these networks have become immensely popular, with Auto-Tune The News probably the most well-known.
Details of the deal haven’t been made public but sources claim Google is paying less than $50 million for Next New Networks. If that’s true then the search giant has pretty much bagged itself a bargain, probably by virtue that the staff look to be moving lock, stock, and barrel over to YouTube.
Upping, Improving Original Content
The acquisition of Next New Networks is about one thing and one thing alone: original content. YouTube already has a Partner Program which sees it sharing revenue with inventive video producers, but YouTube Next is a venture aiming to increase and improve original content across the site.
It’s likely that another rumor will now come to fruition. Namely, that YouTube will be offering celebrities the chance to run their own channels on the site in exchange for a wheelbarrow full of cash.
Google knows that for YouTube to actually be anything more than a footnote in history, it needs to offer more than a place for people to park videos of their cats doing crazy things. Becoming the online destination of choice for original programming could and should help up its ambitions.
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