updated 06:25 pm EST, Mon March 7, 2011
YouTube confirms Next New Networks deal
YouTube confirmed recent rumors on Monday and bought out Next New Networks. The podcast producer was being brought on to become a "laboratory" to both professional studios and newcomers profit from shows on the streaming video site. A dedicated team, YouTube Next, was coming at the same time and would help with grassroots efforts such as buying cameras or supporting community events.
YouTube global content director Tom Pickett made clear that the effort was to improve both the viewership and the quality of the work itself. "Frankly, 'hundreds' making a living on YouTube isn't enough and in 2011 we know we can and should do more to help our partners grow," he said.
The move is ostensibly to help amateur producers but may also be to help fuel incumbent movie and TV studios as well as the upcoming paid movie service. Commercial providers have often been hesitant to put content on YouTube both out of profit concerns but also because of what they have seen as a lack of professional groundwork. Next New Networks is part of a generation of podcasting studios, such as Revision3 and TWiT, that have turned online-only video in to sometimes very successful business models.
Other deals made in the past several months have been centered around supporting access to major video sources, including Widevine for better DRM and fflick recommendations for automatic advice on related movies.
Professional video could be vital for Android and Chrome OS. The former only just recently got a modular DRM system that would allow services like Netflix to work for the first time, and Chrome OS devices will be dependent on web video with virtually no storage of their own.