YouTube is looking to start a number of celebrity-backed channels packed with original content. Maybe that’s why Google is buying Next New Networks, which specializes in doing something very similar, just without the celebrities.
The Power Of Celebrity
Oh to be a celebrity. You get paid a fortune to do whatever it is you do, often a natural talent; you have millions of adoring fans who’ll do (quite literally) anything for you; you get invited to parties and premieres purely because of who you are.
Celebrities have an insane amount of power, which is why they’re so in demand. And it isn’t just old media that wants celebrities involved in their operations, as Google also wants them for YouTube. And is willing to pay an absolute fortune to secure their services.
YouTube Celebrity Channels
According to Vulture, YouTube is seeking Hollywood (and beyond) talent to create and control channels on the site. The channels would be full of original shows, with the celebrity in question retaining the rights to all content.
YouTube is willing to pay handsomely to attract the right people, with figures of up to $5 million quoted. That would be the budget for the channel as well as the wages for the recognizable name, but that’s still a huge amount. YouTube would hope to make the money back by selling advertising.
An insider reportedly said:
“The idea is not so much content acquisition as it is to supercharge content creation: By offering a wider range of better-quality content, viewers are happier, Google’s advertisers are happier, and the talent is happier.”
If true this would be a huge step-up for YouTube and online video in general. Content created by celebrities for the Web isn’t new (think Funny or Die and Will Ferrell), but this would be something altogether bigger and more ambitious.
Next New Networks?
This is just a report at the moment, with Google refusing to comment. However, if true it would put Google’s rumored acquisition of Next New Networks in context, as themed channels is what the latter has made its name doing.
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