When Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion 5 years ago, people expected Google to turn the online video platform into a haven for original web programming produced by well known content generators, effectively challenging the institutional norms of video content distribution.On Friday, this became a reality.
For this to happen, the dollars and cents had to add up for content creators. Beyond the reported $100 million Google paid out to its partners on this deal, strategic shifts in ad dollars and changing viewing habits played a role.
“It’s undeniable that many people watch YouTube, and as a content provider, it would be ridiculous not to be there,” said Ben Wolin, the CEO of Everyday Health, who is one of the partners.
Wolin made it clear that he wants his brand in as many valuable arenas as possible, and that includes mobile, web and cable, but original web content can no longer be ignored.
“What you’re seeing here is a war for premium content,” Wolin said. We expect to make money here as there’s a migration happening of where people watch. They’re moving off cable, and to mobile or the web, including YouTube”.
His company will produce specific YouTube content, leveraging its existing partnerships, along with creating a new studio designed to generate YouTube programming.
Google announced this initiative along with the launch of the updated version of Google TV, which places content from YouTube and other online sources side by side next to live TV.
Google is taking on the TV industry plain and simple, and whether or not they still consider themselves a technology company is irrelevant. Content generators want to be on Google’s platform because more eyes are heading there. More eyes equals more money.