×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Rolls Out New Originals in Germany

YouTube unveiled its first German shows, including two comedy formats, on Wednesday as part of the platform’s continued international rollout of original content for its paid subscription offering.

In Berlin for the launch of the three formats, YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl told Variety that the new shows were in line with the company’s global three-pronged approach. The strategy includes working with YouTube stars who have amassed large followings and “have creative ambitions beyond their means”; music documentaries and shows; and tentpoles, such as the hit “Karate Kid” spin-off “Cobra Kai” – so far YouTube’s most popular original series in Germany – and film acquisitions like Alonso Ruizpalacios’ “Museo,” starring Gael García Bernal.

The company’s new German formats include “Neuland,” a meta-comedy produced by Cologne-based Brainpool, featuring local YouTube personality Phil Laude as a former online star trying to make a comeback while fending off David Hasselhoff, who appears as himself.

“Bullsprit,” a sitcom produced by Matthias Schweighöfer’s Pantaleon Films, the company behind Amazon’s “You Are Wanted,” follows three young friends who inherit a gas station.

In “LeFloid vs. the World,” produced by Red Arrow Studios’ Berlin-based Studio71 Germany, local YouTube star LeFloid travels the globe addressing pressing issues facing millennials, such as climate change, global finance and artificial intelligence.

YouTube has so far launched or is in the process of launching originals in South Korea, Mexico, the U.K., Japan, France and India.

“We focus on markets that have great creative communities, with a history of filmmaking and publishing a lot of content, so there’s a lot of infrastructure and talent with desire to express themselves,” Kyncl said. “We’re starting with the pillar focusing on people who have become successful on YouTube. You see us directly leaning into that in Germany.”

YouTube is currently charging €11.99 ($13.88) a month in Germany for its premium subscription offering.

Kyncl added, however, that YouTube wasn’t putting its stars behind paywalls since many continue to produce their regular content in addition to working on YouTube originals. “On average, when creators do YouTube originals, their channels grow by about 20%,” he said.

With regard to acquisitions, Kyncl said that while they may not be based on talent that has become successful on YouTube, they nevertheless revolved around “topics or areas that are of interest” to YouTube users. With “Cobra Kai,” for example, success was anticipated based on the great interest in “The Karate Kid”-related content on YouTube, Kyncl noted. “Clearly there was demand for it. We can see what people are interested in.”

Despite feature film acquisitions such as “Museo,” Kyncl said the company was leaning more towards documentaries. “They seem to work really, really well on YouTube. We’re having a lot of success with documentaries.”

YouTube is also working on diverse projects with such stars as Robert Downey Jr., Will Smith and García Bernal.

More TV

  • Game of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi

    'Game of Thrones' Composer Ramin Djawadi: 'I'm Still in Denial'

    Since the first season, Ramin Djawadi has composed the music for “Game of Thrones” and created the epic tunes, including the iconic theme song, heard over the series’ most memorable moments. With the series finished, he talked with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 about his experience on the show and an upcoming 20-city [...]

  • TUPAC SHAKUR black panther collection

    ‘Defiant Ones’ Director to Helm Docuseries on Tupac, Who Assaulted Him in 1993

    Director Allen Hughes, who helmed the award-winning HBO documentary “The Defiant Ones,” has closed a deal with Tupac Shakur’s estate for a five-part docuseries for which he will have full access to all of the late rapper’s released and unreleased recordings, writings and poetry, according to an announcement from his rep. The announcement says the [...]

  • Ellen DeGeneres -- The Ellen Show

    Ellen DeGeneres Extends Daytime Talk Show Run Through 2022

    Ellen DeGeneres is sticking with her daytime talk show. DeGeneres announced Tuesday that she has signed a new deal to continue hosting “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” through 2022. There had been rumors for some time that DeGeneres was planning to leave the show when her current contract was up in 2020, something she leaned into [...]

  • How YouTube Is Trying to Get

    How YouTube Is Trying to Get Will Smith His First-Ever Emmy Nomination (EXCLUSIVE)

    YouTube could be the key to Will Smith finally earning a Primetime Emmy nomination — or win. The superstar Formerly Known as the Fresh Prince has been nominated for two Academy Awards, five Golden Globes and one Screen Actors Guild Award, and has won four Grammys (out of eight nominations). Yet a Primetime Emmy nomination [...]

  • Carpool Karaoke with Celine Dion on

    James Corden Gets Celine Dion to Sing 'Baby Shark,' Sail the Vegas Seas (Watch)

    Anyone who has seen Celine Dion’s long-running Las Vegas show knows she plays the comedienne almost as much as chanteuse, with a goofball quality that came in especially handy on a Monday night edition of James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke.” The 15-minute segment ended with Dion and Corden trading carpooling for ship-pooling and sailing around Las [...]

  • Greg KinnearPhoto Call with Greg Kinnear,

    Greg Kinnear Cast in Amazon Comedy Pilot 'Good People' From Lee Daniels, Whitney Cummings

    Greg Kinnear has signed on to star in the Amazon comedy pilot from Lee Daniels and Whitney Cummings, Variety has learned. Kinnear joins previously announced cast members Lisa Kudrow and Cummings, the latter of whom is co-writing the series with Lee Daniels in addition to starring and executive producing. Titled “Good People,” the half-hour project [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    Gersh Agency Stirs Ire After Canceling Network Meeting for Former Client

    In a sign of hostility in the war between the WGA and Hollywood’s largest talent agencies, Gersh Agency has come under fire from TV and film writers for canceling a network meeting that it had arranged for a now-former client. Writer Jorge Reyes disclosed the incident in a series of tweets on Monday. Reyes asserted [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content