YouTube set to announce channel partners

08.01 Europe/London, October 31, 2011 By Robert Briel

IAC/InterActiveCorp.’s Electus, News Corp.’s ShineReveille unit, RTL Group’s Fremantle Media, as well as skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and “CSI” creator Anthony Zuiker, will be among the partnerships Google will announce this week for YouTube.
Apart from these content partnerships, YouTube will be revamped to become “channel-centric,” encouraging visitors to subscribe to one of 20 or so categories such as food, comedy and news, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The news follows an earlier announcement that YouTube is launching dedicated channels for a subscription fee with ‘regular’ TV full-length programming.

Other partners might include Everyday Health Inc., Iconic Entertainment LLC and DECA and even Warner Bros was named as a potential supplier of premium content. YouTube has reportedly asked around 150 conent providers to pitch for a share of the $100 million the company set aside for the new channels.
Following the report in the WSJ, a spokesperson for YouTube did not want to comment on the rumours: “We’re always talking to content creators and curators of all kinds about building audiences on YouTube. The more engaging, high quality content they bring to the site, the more content there is for YouTube users to enjoy.”
The plan seems to be that the YouTube channels are areas where hours of long-form content can be foiund, grouped by genre. These programmes will be available on an on-demand basis rather than as a linear channel.
Google has also improved the interface of YouTube on Google TV 2.0 in order to improve user friendliness and discoverability of content with search.

Broadband TV Views. Google is not giving up on either Google TV or on establishing YouTube as provider of premium long-form content. In the US, the compeition is now heating up.
Hulu (and Hulu Plus) is no longer up for sale. Amazon and and Dish Network, through its ownership of Blockbuster, are both gearing up to battle Netflix. The latter took a beating after a price hike and the now abandoned plan to split off the DVD rental business from its streaming on-demand service. Dish Network is now offering a streaming plus DVD rental service for just $10 a month.

Meanwhile, Amazon has announced – as part of its Kindle Fire unveiling last week – that it is bundling its new tablet computer with a free one-month subscription to Amazon Prime, which gives customers access to more than 11,000 movies and TV shows for $79 a year.