YouTube adds more channels in original content expansion

Acting more like a TV network every day, YouTube says it will pay money to professional producers of more than 60 new shows it is adding through its YouTube Originals program in the UK, France, Germany and the US.

Recipients include large indies like All3Media, Endemol and ITN; online distributors like Diagonal View and Base79; web producers like ChannelFlip and publishers like Au Feminin and IDG.

New channels in Europe for the first time include The Jamie Oliver Food Channel, Netmums, Mixmag TV and Studio Bagel, some of which have already been publishing videos for some time now. New US channels include ESPN, Sarah Silverman and Everyday Health.

Meanwhile, BBC Worldwide has renewed its YouTube deal to include two new YouTube channels (one for nature, another for science), some new full-length archive TV shows and additions to its library of 8,000+ clips on its six existing YouTube channels.

YouTube began the first phase of funding for original high-quality content 12 months ago, when it carved out up to $100 million for 100 channels that would produce 25 hours of content per day.

New York Times reports: “As part of the new effort, Google is investing a fresh $200 million to market the shows. It is also investing an additional, undisclosed amount — on top of the $100 million it invested last year — to pay for production equipment and, in some cases, pay the full production costs.”

So great is YouTube’s audience, many content brands had already viewed it as the most important platform to which to publish their work.

By giving them extra cash incentives, YouTube hopes to lock them in to platform exclusivity, in the coming era of internet video service abundance. The deal also sees YouTube’s own sales force sell ads in to the videos, NYT reports.

YouTube’s global content VP Robert Kyncl, at Mipcom in Cannes to announce the program extension, blogged that the service’s top 25 original channels are now averaging over a million views each week.

This story and headline was updated at 2pm PT after Google corrected the NYT’s assessment of how much it was spending on the new effort.