A German production house is looking to partner with animation studios and distributors worldwide to set up a network of YouTube channels featuring professionally made cartoons.
The channels will launch on the Google-owned online video giant this autumn, under the banner World of Animation (WOA).
German prodco Scopas Medien is “curating” at least 10 channels designed for a “global audience” in partnership with the Stuttgart International Animation Festival.
Genres will include arthouse, blockbusters, comedy, children’s, trailers, science fiction and animé.
According to Thomas Schneider-Trumpp, co-founder and head of online at Scopas Medien, funding for the project comes in the form of “a couple of hundred thousand euros” from a mixture of public and private investors around Germany.
WOA will not prioritise German-made animation. The content will be available worldwide, dubbed or subtitled into English where necessary. There is a possibility there will be English-, French- and German-specific versions of the networks, although Schneider-Trumpp emphasised that the final set-up was being decided.
“The main idea is for WOA to be an international platform for animation,” Schneider-Trumpp told C21. “After all, most of the content from the film academy in Ludwigsburg is produced in English and, in Germany, English toons are standard.”
A “big part” of the ad revenue that WOA makes via YouTube will be given back to the filmmakers, according to Schneider-Trumpp, so that they can create new content.
“Any producer with online streaming rights to content can come to us and we will present their series or short film on WOA for the audience to explore, on demand. Archive material is a nice start, but we want WOA to be a permanent pipeline of new content,” he added.
More partners are set to come onboard, with Schneider-Trumpp saying that “it absolutely makes sense” to partner with a UK or French company with its own archive of animation. The partner, however, must be interested in being an “aggregator of content” and not just a supplier.
Earlier this year, C21 revealed that YouTube had begun accepting pitches from UK media companies as part of its roll-out of original channels across Europe, mirroring an initiative launched in the US last year. WOA is not related to this, however, and receives no funding directly from YouTube.
“In the first stage we aren’t able to finance new content,” Schneider-Trumpp said. “However, once WOA is online and generating enough traffic, it’s possible it will receive funding from YouTube to produce new content.”
Scopas Medien has had a presence on YouTube since the video hosting site launched in 2005 and currently has eight YouTube channels on which its shows, such as Deutsche Elf Backstage, can be watched for free.