YouTube has unveiled its biggest overhaul in its brief history, putting its recent 100-channel partners initiative front and centre.
The redesign is the latest across the Google network of sites, which has to date seen revamps of services including Gmail, Google Reader and Google Calendar.
The new-look YouTube has been billed as taking the site closer to a TV-like experience but the main video player that previously dominated has been sacrificed in the process.
The homepage is, however, now designed to show off the rapidly expanding array of ‘channels’ that exist on YouTube, grouping content together in categories, rather than a seemingly never-ending stream of individual videos.
The move comes after YouTube launched 100 thematic channels out of the US in November, reportedly paying out US$100m in advances to partners including the likes of FremantleMedia, Electus and Lionsgate Entertainment, Madonna, Jay-Z, Red Bull and others.
“More and more, behind every great video is a great channel, and with our announcement last month that more of them are coming to YouTube, we want to make it easier for you to find and keep tabs of what you want to watch,” the company said in a blogpost last night. “To help you get more into YouTube, we’re making it easier to find and follow great channels when you arrive.”
It’s now possible for YouTube viewers to create their own personalized YouTube channels line-up when they sign in and link through to Google+ and Facebook to make video-sharing even easier.
Speaking at C21′s FutureMedia conference at Bafta in London yesterday, prior to the overnight YouTube overhaul, EMEA director of original programming Jed Simmons, said: “300 years of YouTube video viewing, which comes out to 2.6 million hours a day, happens on Facebook.”