updated 01:45 pm EDT, Mon July 9, 2012
Program beginning in France, bound for rest of Europe
YouTube is partnering with French content producers to bring premium channels like those seen in the US to its French operations. According to French newspaper Le Figaro, the premium offerings are due to launch in October, and the company is in the final stages of negotiations with content makers. The planned channels are said to include content from high-profile producers such as Oscar winner Jean Dujardin and Endemol.
The premium channels are said to focus on family-oriented entertainment touching on health, cuisine, and culture. Production partners will receive between €500,000 and €1 million in order to produce 20 hours of original programming per year.
Content owners will share in any ad revenues exceeding projections, but YouTube will retain distribution rights to the content, which would prevent it from appearing on other video distribution sites. Similar premium channel negotiations are said to be in the works for Germany and the United Kingdom.
YouTube has become an immense success for Google, and is expected by some to pull in $3.6 billion in revenues for the search giant. Google has been looking to increase the importance of its video sharing site, with the goal of unseating cable in the same way cable once overtook broadcast television. To that end, the service has seen new features added regularly, and this summer YouTube will stream the Olympic Games to countries in Asia and Africa.