During a keynote interview at The Next TV Summit, Alex Carloss, head of entertainment at YouTube/Google, stressed that the company was looking to partner with traditional content providers, as well as fund a new source of online content as part of its YouTube channel initiative.
So far the results have been very promising he argued, with around "20 channels now averaging 1 million views a week and maybe 25 channels have [signed up] 100,000 subscribers since launch."
Carloss also highlighted a number of trends, most notably a shift to mobile consumption that would impact their approach to creating original digital content over the next year.
A year ago, mobile views accounted for only one in 12 views on YouTube, a number that has risen to about one in four today. "The transition to mobile will change how to program to these audiences," he noted.
Carloss also expects audiences to become "much more involved" in programming" and that they were also working on "audience development and technologies and tools to drive viewership on these hyper social platforms. "
Carloss did not discuss the company's business models, which have involved advancing content creators $100 million to create original content. The channels pay back the money from advertising.
But he noted that the channel effort was designed to help overcome the problem faced by users and advertisers to find the content they want.
"There are some amazing things that come with the scale of 800 million monthly uniques and 4 billion video views," he said. "But it challenges discoverability for users. It becomes hard work for advertiser to find audience and hard for content to build value for IP [intellectual property] holders."
To help overcome that problem, YouTube worked to create apps for a plethora of devices and launched an initiative to fund original content in around 100 channels.
"We reoriented around brands, whether they are the great [TV and content] brands in this room" or new players and creators. "The intent was to [jumpstart] the eco system" by finding partners to produce content in almost every genre for all demos.
He also noted that they were working with a number of studios and that yesterday announced a deal with Fox that would make around 600 titles available for rent on Google.
Financing original web content and creating partnerships with tech and CE manufacturers for content creation was a major theme of the Summit.
In a separate keynote interview, Blair Westlake, corporate vice president of media and entertainment group, noted that Microsoft had been extremely successful in signing up content providers for its Xbox platform but original content would play a crucial role in differentiating its devices and platforms in the future.
"Having something that no one else has," was important in driving increased ratings and revenue at cable networks and would play a crucial role in the competition between various digital platforms, he noted.
This is also opening up opportunities for traditional cable networks. In a separate panel, Howard Owens president of National Geographic Channels noted that they had worked with Microsoft's Xbox to create additional content for some of shows on Xbox.
Eric Berger, executive vice president of digital networks at Sony Pictures Television also noted that they were seeing rapidly growing revenues from their ad-supported network that was allow them to create more additional original content with such high-profile talent as Jerry Seinfeld.