Talk-show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres — who runs one of biggest TV-oriented YouTube channels — has formed a new digital venture and is launching Ellentube, a site and app that will host exclusive video from her daytime program.
Ellentube (ellentube.com) was created by DeGeneres with her show’s executive producers, Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner. Fans visiting Ellentube will be able to upload their own videos, with user-generated submissions to be reviewed by before being posted to the site, and the best user videos will be considered for possible showcase on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
On YouTube, TheEllenShow channel averages more than 100 million views per month, has generated nearly 3 billion video views to date. The channel currently has just over 10 million subscribers. DeGeneres has 33.7 million Twitter followers for @TheEllenShow — and famously tweeted a group-selfie that broke records when she hosted this year’s Oscars — making her the most-followed TV personality on the social service.
In announcing the site, DeGeneres said that Ellentube will host content from the show “that you won’t see anywhere else.” (Watch a video of her discussing the launch here.)
“What makes our site different than any other place is that if you accidentally type in a wrong word, you’re not going to stumble upon something that’s bad or mean or something like that,” she said in a statement. “You know how that can happen. So everything on the site is fun, and there is nothing mean-spirited. And if you have a video that you want me to see, I’d love to see it.”
A rep for the show said Ellen’s YouTube channel will continue to have the clips from the show; those also will appear on Ellentube, which will provide additional exclusive content and clips.
Ellentube will be organized around video playlists, based on categories popular with her fanbase. Those include: kids, “funny,” “incredible” (featuring videos of “epic wins” from across the Internet), trending, celebrity scares and, of course cats (“The working title for this website was ‘Ellen’s Cat Video Emporium,’ but we decided to make it a little more broad,” she said.)
Ellentube is the first initiative from newly formed Ellen Digital Ventures, created by Warner Bros. Television and DeGeneres to extend her TV franchise to digital, social and gaming audiences. WBTVG has tapped HSN exec Jill Braff to serve as g.m., reporting to Mike Darnell, president, of Warner Bros. Unscripted and Alternative Television, and Donna Redier Linsk, Telepictures EVP of business operation operations and programming. Braff, a 20-year industry vet, was previously EVP of digital commerce for HSN and prior to that was CEO of Scrapblog, a social photo site.
The “Ellen” show’s other social outlets include Facebook, she has more than 16 million “likes,” and Instagram, where @TheEllenShow has more than 6 million followers. In gaming, Ellen’s Heads Up! paid app debuted in May 2013 and has more than 5.5 million downloads to date. EllenTV.com, the official website of her daily talk show, generates more than 100 million page views monthly.
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” now in its 12th season, is produced by A Very Good Production and WAD Prods. in association with Telepictures, and is distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. It’s shot at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.
Ellentube, which serves preroll video ads, uses an online-video player from New York-based Kaltura.