UPDATE, 6:15 PM: YouTube will earmark about $200M worth of ad time to promote its channels, Global Head of Content Robert Kyncl told advertisers today at the company’s first ever upfront presentation in New York. The messages will appear on YouTube and on the Google Display Network. “We will fish where the fish are,” he said urging advertisers to “find something you love” among the company’s many channels. Execs added that viewing patterns have changed: YouTube attracts its biggest audiences in prime time now; a few years ago it was mid-day as office workers took a break. That shift should continue as more people buy Web-connected televisions. Google says that big-name advertisers are warming to the medium. For example, American Express has signed on to be a title partner for the new WIGS channel. Google played television’s game in its upfront presentation, mixing its messages with performances by big name entertainers including Jay-Z, comedian Chris Hardwick, and violinist Miri Ben-Ari.
PREVIOUS, 10:53 AM: Execs at the Google-owned video service seem more interested in using their first upfront presentation to ad buyers in New York to promote the idea of running commercials on Web videos than on sponsoring any particular channels or programs. “We’re about to see another large explosion in the use of video,” Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt says. “It solves new problems….It’s changing our communities and the way we live.” YouTube declines to discuss hard business data — including how much it’s spending to help get channels off the ground. But execs say that they’ve already introduced close to 50, with more being rolled out when they’re ready. While most come from relatively small producers, they say that Hollywood studios likely will show more interest in YouTube as they begin to see existing channels perform. “These people are businessmen, and they can add,” says Google VP Global Video Sales Lucas Watson. He also says that Google’s trying to make it easy for small businesses to advertise on the channels. Could YouTube come to cable? “I think that’s a great product proposal for the future and I’m sure we’ll consider that,” Schmidt says.
YouTube will shine a spotlight today on three new channels: WIGS will offer scripted dramas for women from film makers Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia. TeamUSA, from the United States Olympic Committee, will have just about everything related to the games other than the latest events. And later this year Tribeca Enterprises, parent of the Tribeca Film Festival, will have The Picture Show.
Here’s the company’s release about its progress and plans:
NEW YORK (May 2, 2012) – Today Google and YouTube host “Brandcast,” the company’s first-ever upfront event, in New York City. “Brandcast” will highlight YouTube’s new original channels and opportunities for brands to reach diverse audiences on YouTube and right across Google, including demographics like women, teens, young men, and multicultural audiences. This is happening as online video consumption continues to grow, with three billion hours of video a month watched on YouTube by more than 800 million viewers around the world.
“At YouTube, we’re not just re-imagining video – we’re re-imagining brand-building on the web.” said Google’s VP for Global Video Sales, Lucas Watson. “The world’s most important brands are increasingly looking to reach the diverse audiences YouTube attracts, which is why Unilever, Toyota, and AT&T have already jumped on board and are building their brands alongside these new YouTube channels.”
Ahead of the event, the company today announced additional YouTube channels, along with consumer trend research. New partners and channels include filmmakers Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia, the U.S. Olympic Committee, collaborations between Tribeca Enterprises and Maker Studios, and a new show from Machinima and Halo Waypoint.
New Partners and Channels
YouTube welcomes filmmakers Jon Avnet (Black Swan, Fried Green Tomatoes, Risky Business) and Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs, In Treatment, Mother and Child), who have joined forces to create WIGS (youtube.com/wigs), a channel producing original, scripted dramatic series and short films about the lives of women. Virginia Madsen, Stephen Moyer, Caitlin Gerard, Jennifer Garner, Alfred Molina and Julia Stiles star in the first three series, with Jennifer Beals, America Ferrera, Dakota Fanning, Michael C. Hall, Alison Janney and other acclaimed actors starring in upcoming series. The content will also feature documentaries, behind-the-scenes videos, and other unscripted content, all starring female leads, and will launch in May.
Also coming to YouTube is the TeamUSA channel (youtube.com/teamusa) from the United States Olympic Committee, which will include original content featuring 2012 U.S. Olympians, hopefuls and legends from years’ past, instruction from Olympic sport coaches, and historical Olympic Games footage. The channel will be sponsored by AT&T.
Tribeca Enterprises, the parent company of Tribeca Film Festival and the distribution label Tribeca Film, has teamed up with YouTube partner Maker Studios, to bring a new channel called The Picture Show to YouTube later this year.
And coming to YouTube this Fall on Machinima (youtube.com/machinima) and Halo Waypoint (youtube.com/halowaypoint) is Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, a new live action series that leads into the events of Halo 4.
The new channels announced today join a roster of YouTube original channels that includes Machinima, DanceOn, Nerdist, U look haute, the Warner Sound and more; and feature talent like Rainn Wilson, Amy Poehler, Jay-Z , Walter Latham, Electus, Jon M. Chu, The Onion, Justin Lin, and Participant Media.
“Content creators of all stripes, from super producers to talented up-and-comers, are creating the next generation of channels on YouTube,” said Robert Kyncl, Global Head of Content for YouTube. “With top
channels averaging more than one million views a week, they’re attracting fans and developing robust
By the end of the July, there will be 25 hours of new original content on YouTube each day.
At “Brandcast,” YouTube will also share highlights from “Generation V,” a comprehensive YouTube study of consumer video trends, which reveals that men 18-34 are now spending more time streaming video than watching live TV, one third visit YouTube multiple times a day, half subscribe to a YouTube channel, and two thirds shared YouTube videos in the past week. It also finds that 40% of women 25-49 have subscribed to a YouTube channel, half shared a video this past week, and one third regularly share online video with their kids or parents.
“YouTube is a place where brands can have vibrant conversations with the people they want to reach,” stated Jim Lecinski, VP, US Sales and Service for Google. “It’s one of our cornerstone investments in making the web work for brand marketers. When you add the full reach of Google, across search, mobile, and the Google Display Network, and combine it with your TV campaigns, you can reach people across all four screens, at the moments that matter most to them.”
TeamUSA: Just in time for the 2012 Summer Games, the USOC is launching a channel with shows such as “The Road to London,” with historic Olympics footage and instruction from Olympics coaches. Don’t expect any current Olympics coverage here — that’s closely guarded by NBC and the International Olympic Committee’s other international media partners. That channel will have AT&T as a sponsor and also launch in May.