updated 04:39 pm EDT, Tue July 31, 2012
Extra funding aimed at marketing premium channels, expanding content
Google is putting another $200 million towards the YouTube premium channel experiment it is conducting. The extra funding would go towards marketing the channels to a wider audience, and to build upon the existing content that benefited from the original $150 million funding, according to the Wall Street Journal. So far, nearly 100 channels have been created this year, ten of which average more than one million views a week.
Google has already got its money back from the experiment, earning over $150 million in advertising on the channels so far, according to WSJ sources. In May, Google invited advertisers to an event associated with an earlier $100 million investment in its channels, in an effort to further increase sales. The new channels are claimed to be "brand safe" for advertisers, therefor carrying a premium on sales compared to more normal videos found on the service. Analysts suggest YouTube brought $3.6 billion in revenues to Google this year.
YouTube earlier this month revealed plans to partner with French content producers to expand the premium channel service to France, and would include content from TV production company Endemol and Oscar winner Jean Dujardin. There are also rumors of a similar expansion to the United Kingdom and Germany.
Currently, people watch four billion hours of YouTube video per month, an increase from 3 billion earlier this year, while the number of people subscribing to channels have doubled since last year.