YouTube set to roll linear channels to go head-to-head with cable, IPTV

Michelle Clancy ęRapidTVNews | 29-09-2011
YouTube is putting the finishing touches on content deals for more than a dozen linear TV video channels.
The Wall Street Journal cited "people familiar with the matter" in reporting details on thematic programming that includes fashion and sports, scheduled to go live early in 2012. YouTube owner Google has requested the deals to kick in within the next two months or so.

YouTube, famously popular as a user-generated content site and just as famously without a monetisation strategy, has been making moves to add premium, rentable content. Now, linear TV seems to be a next step for the company. As reported by RTVN, Google also recently turned in a $4 billion bid for online TV site, presumably in an effort to add catch-up TV and current on-demand programming to the YouTube video portfolio.

According to the WSJ's sources, YouTube in this case is looking to be an alternative to traditional television, not a complementary entity--hence the focus on linear television. That's in odds with Google's professed pay-TV-friendly strategy behind Google TV, which thus far has failed to gain much traction in the way of content deals.
The content for YouTube's linear channels however will be created by indies, not Big Media-- Google is paying anywhere from $100,000 to several million for video creation, which Google plans to repay via ad revenue. After the initial ROI is made, the content owner and YouTube will share the advertising wealth, the sources said.