The WSJ is the latest to write about Google’s plan to invest in more original content to beef up “channels” of content on YouTube.The big idea, we’re told, is to get people to spend more time watching YouTube on a daily basis, and to better equip YouTube for Internet-connected TVs, where people need more of a “lean-back” experience.
The result would be a bunch of genre-based “channels” — think sports, arts, maybe food, travel, etc. — that people can go to for 5 to 10 hours of original content per week, according to the WSJ. Plus, potentially, other curated video.
This could also create more “safe” ad inventory for premium ads, which could drive higher revenue for YouTube.
We speculate that there could even potentially be a linear playback feature, sort of like a TV channel, with ads in between video clips on a playlist. This makes sense for longer periods of passive viewing.
We’re told that this won’t result in any sudden, drastic changes to how YouTube looks, but there could be gradual changes to focus on these channels. (The WSJ article first asserts there will be a “major site overhaul” but then dials back, saying “the changes are expected to be phased in over time, starting before the end of this year.”)
Netflix shares dropped in late trading and are down a hair in after-hours trading. Netflix, too, has recently gotten into original programming, and the companies will probably compete more than less in the future.