GOOGLE is making a $US100 million ($96.5 million) bid to win a bigger share of the fast-growing internet TV market, with more than 100 new channels to be rolled out via its subsidiary YouTube, starting this month, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The new channels will include some created by entertainment figures including Madonna and Ashton Kutcher, and will cover film, music, news, comedy, drama and sport.
It represents a shift away from its user-generated roots towards professional, longer forms of television programming more often seen on broadcast and pay TV, albeit without directly challenging those sectors and with more emphasis on social engagement.
In a blog posting, five years after Google paid $US1.65 billion for YouTube, the global head of content partnerships at YouTube, Robert Kyncl, said the channels would be a new chance for advertisers to ”engage and reach their global consumers”.
Kyncl said the channels would be available on any internet-connected device, anywhere in the world, with the interactivity and social features of YouTube built in.
He said the goal with the new channels was to bring a broader range of entertainment to the site, giving people more reasons to keep coming back to YouTube ”again and again”.
”These channels will have something for everyone, whether you’re a mom, a comedy fan, a sports nut, a music lover or a pop culture maven,” he said.
Kyncl said in the same way pay television had transformed TV in the past, expanding the viewing possibilities from a handful of channels to hundreds, the internet was now redefining entertainment.
”Many of the defining channels of the next generation are being born, and watched, on YouTube,” he said.
YouTube said the channels would be supported by advertising. They will be introduced over the next year, starting this month.
Google does not split out revenue and expenses for YouTube in its accounts but a Citibank analysis earlier this year estimated it had received $US825 million in revenue last year, would receive $US1.3 billion this year and $US1.7 billion next year.
A report released yesterday by the US telecommunication research firm Infonetics said internet protocol TV services would take about 15 per cent of the pay TV market by 2015. It expected existing pay TV companies to defend their turf with improved services like better digital recorders and programming.
A recent study of the online video market in Australia predicted that advertising on internet TV would be worth $311 million by 2016, up from the current $54 million. Australians already watch about 10 hours of online video each month.
The YouTube move is expected to help lift the internet TV sector further. Optus became the largest retailer of the internet pay TV provider Fetch last month, competing directly with Telstra’s T-Box system.
Both deliver high-quality television reception by using broadband connections rather than cable TV lines or satellite dishes.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald