Not content to ply us with on-demand movies and catch-up TV, YouTube is set to stream fresh content on new Original Channels in the UK. The Google-owned video streaming site is offering British producers around £500,000 for successful pitches of shows to be broadcast under the TV Shows section of its site.
YouTube is hoping to replicate shows like American Hipster, produced for the US, which launched last October.
Speaking to Broadcastnow, YouTube director of TV Ben McOwen-Wilson said “tens of channels” are planned with the aim of getting interest from “indie” producers.
“We’re looking for partners who have a great idea, passion and can show what the YouTube audience thinks about that genre.”
The business model works on the idea of YouTube subbing an advance for production which, once recouped, will see profits split equally between the producers and YouTube. Eventually the plan is that YouTube would step away from funding once producers start breaking even on projects.
Independent companies including All3Media (Peep Show), Hat Trick (Have I Got News For You) and Zodiak Media (Being Human) are understood to have been approached by YouTube. However McOwen-Wilson told Broadcastnow that the “door remain[s] open” to proposals from all quarters.