YouTube plans to produce half-dozen original series that will be available for free on the world's most popular video website, a big expansion of the Google-owned company's programming and efforts to attract advertisers.
Comedian Kevin Hart, talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres and the comedy duo Rhett & Link are producing unscripted shows that will debut this year, YouTube will announce at an event for advertisers in New York Thursday. Alphabet's Google also will increase its spending on YouTube Red, a paid video and music streaming service launched in October 2015.
The plans mark a shift for Google, which has typically treated its huge video library as a web free-for-all rather than a home for TV shows. But as more digital rivals venture into high-quality programming, YouTube is feeling pressure to respond, devoting resources to more costly projects and aiming for a wider audience.
The company will fund more than 40 original shows and movies in the next year, spending hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a person familiar with the plans. YouTube is betting high-profile stars will attract more advertisers like Johnson & Johnson, which is sponsoring "Best.Cover.Ever," a music competition from Ryan Seacrest that's scheduled for later this year.
Source : http://www.afr.com/business/media-and-marketing/tv/youtube-to-fund-40-original-shows-in-major-shift-for-the-google-company-20170504-gvyyhr