Let’s see Google try to deny it’s a media company now.
New York Magazine reports Google is talking to Hollywood agents about building YouTube channels filled with original video content centered on celebrity personalities.
To get the celebs on board, Google is offering up to $5 million per channel. The money would cover salaries and production costs. The celebs would get ownership of the shows.
Google would make the money back through premium advertising.
While Google and YouTube aren’t commenting on the matter, it seems as if they’re aiming for proven TV personalities. For example, if celebrity chef Bobby Flay were to take part in this deal, he would host his very own YouTube channel about food and cooking.
This is similar to what Yahoo and AOL are doing. AOL recently signed Heidi Klum to do some videos. The difference here is that YouTube is a much bigger distribution network.
Google reportedly wants to get 20 celebs on board for this venture, which suggests it’s willing to shell out $100 million on the new venture. That’s basically chump change for Google. Especially when you consider how much it could make in ad revenue, and how it could crack open opportunities for Google to disrupt the traditional TV business.
In addition to the ongoing talks about acquiring Next New Networks, it looks like Google and YouTube are getting very serious about content creation.
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