YouTube inks European content deals

Partners include BBC Worldwide, Endemol, Fremantle


YouTube has partnered with content providers in the U.K., Germany and France to feed 60 new channels as viewership rocketed to 4 billion hours a month, up from 3 billion hours earlier this year.

Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s VP, global head of content, confirmed the development during an address at a packed conference session at the Mipcom sales market, which opened today.

The new channels — covering entertainment, sports, comedy, music, news, auto, beauty, health and cooking — were announced by Kyncl in a blog entry entitled “YouTube’s original channels go global.”

They will be available internationally via Google-owned YouTube on any device as the service continues to encroach on territory traditionally occupied by broadcasters.

BBC Worldwide (the Beeb’s commercial arm) and production powerhouses Endemol and FremantleMedia are among those signing deals with YouTube.

U.K. celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, endorsing the move in a filmed sequence during Kyncl’s presentation, said, “YouTube is the future.” Oliver has his own food channel in the new European initiative.

Also featured are Endemol’s Short Cuts: The Short Movie Channel, BBC Worldwide’s nature channel On Earth, dance music channel Mixmag TV, royals news and gossip channel The Royals, Guinness World Records: OMG, fashion channel Fashtag, comedy channel Bad Teeth and health-wellness offering Body Talk Daily from U.K. super-indie All3Media.

Kyncl asked his Mipcom audience if they would rather be content providers or platform owners.

He urged more content owners to join YouTube, which he claimed generates as much revenue in the U.S. from advertising in an hour as U.S. cable, even though audiences have the option of skipping the ads.

“Some of the most successful formats on TV come from Europe,” Kyncl said in a statement. “The expansion of original channels in Europe allows more content creators of all stripes, from top producers to talented up-and-comers, to build their audiences all over the world.”

YouTube will also add programming partners in the U.S., the market where it first deployed the channel-centric strategy last year.

Some existing partners will add new channels while new ones will join the fold in coming months. New entries include Everyday Health, PopSugar and ESPN-owned website Grantland.

However, YouTube is also expected trim the ranks of the original 100-odd channels with which it launched; some partners may opt out on their own accord as well.

The new infusion of channels will be backed by an additional $200 million by Google.

Kyncl added, “A lot has happened since we announced nearly 100 new original channels coming to YouTube.

“Seven-year-old Ruby taught Amy Poehler about feminism. Rainn Wilson interviewed Deepak Chopra in the back of a mysterious van, and Phil DeFranco’s SourceFed became one of the hottest comedy news shows on the web or TV.

“What do all these moments have in common? They’re being created for you on YouTube. And, when we look at the numbers, you’re liking what you watch.”

Kyncl continued, “Some 800 million of you are watching 4 billion hours every month. The number of people subscribing has doubled year over year. And partners are reaching 100,000 subscribers five times faster than two years ago.”

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