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YouTube launches Euro channels

MIPCOM: YouTube is extending its original channels initiative, which it launched in the US last year, to the UK, France and Germany, the site’s VP and global head of content Robert Kyncl has confirmed.

Robert Kyncl

Robert Kyncl

The launch will see at least 46 European channels debuting over the coming months from major partners such as All3Media, Zodiak Active and BBC Worldwide in the UK; UFA/FremantleMedia in Germany; and Kabo Productions and Banijay-owned Air Productions in France.

Among the biggest beneficiaries of the scheme are: Shine Group-owned online producer ChannelFlip, which will make a version of its new HuHa channel available in all three territories and launch an additional channel called The Multiverse in the UK; video technology firm Base79, which is involved in three of the new channels; and Endemol, which will run three of the new channels, one in France and two in Germany.

The latter’s new channels are Short Cuts: The Short Movie Channel, which will feature the best of short film with editorial input from Endemol Germany’s scripted joint venture Wiedemann & Berg Television; The Survival Guide for Parents, a German channel that will take a humorous look at parenthood; and It’s Big, an interactive celebrity channel that will include news and gossip.

The European channels roll-out follows the launch of YouTube’s 100 channels scheme in the US last year, with the Google-owned pledging a reported US$100m in upfront payments against ad revenue to lure big-name, premium content producers on to the site.

Announcing the expansion, Kyncl said: “Given the success of these and the tens of millions of other amazing channels already out there, we still know there’s more great content to find, follow and fall in love with on YouTube. That’s why today, we’re launching a new generation of original channels coming from France, Germany, the UK and the US.”

He also revealed that YouTube’s top 25 original channels in the US now average more than a million views each week, that its partner channels are reaching the 100,000 subscriber mark five times faster than they were two years ago, and that overall 800 million people are watching four billion hours of video every month – up from three billion hours earlier this year.

In total, YouTube today revealed 13 new premium channels in France, 12 in Germany and 21 in the UK, ranging from topics such as sport, health, automotive, comedy, entertainment, food and news. It’s also adding a further batch of 14 in the US, taking the overall total of new nets to 60.

Among the upcoming UK channels are: an ITN Productions news channel called Truthloader; the Jamie Oliver Food Channel from Jamie Oliver Ltd and the celebrity chef’s prodco FreshOne; Topic Science Channel with Top Gear host James May, from BBC Worldwide and 360 Productions; and a Hat Trick Productions and Base79 channel called Bad Teeth.

“YouTube is set to play a game-changing role in the future of broadcasting and we’re extremely excited to be partnering with them on this diverse line-up of themed channels. We have had significant success with YouTube in Italy and we plan to draw on our experience there to build these new ventures into viewer destinations with great content,” said Endemol Group president Tim Hincks, promising more new YouTube channel launches in the coming months. The firm already runs more than 30 YouTube channels in Italy with local operation Yam112003

Neither the financial terms of the deals struck with the new partners, nor the dollar amount YouTube has invested in the latest content push, were disclosed this morning. However, Kyncl is expected to give more details about the scheme during his keynote at Mipcom later today.

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