YouTube launched its latest ad-supported original Wednesday, “The Super Slow Show,” featuring YouTube stars The Slow Mo Guys going through their low-speed paces. Celebrity guests in the short-form series include Kevin Durant, Tony Hawk, Dylan Sprouse, and Mayim Bialik.
For the video-streaming platform it is the latest move into original programming, and it now commissions for its ad-supported, and premium YouTube Red services. “The Super Slow Show,” is produced by Rooster Teeth and will run for 12 weeks with new episodes bowing Monday through Thursdays.
Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer, says it is testing out what works, formats, and how to release originals, notably on the ad-supported side where advertisers are looking for alternative options to those available on TV.
“It’s a time of great experimentation around ad-supported [originals] because we started with our subscription content earlier, so we’re further along. We’ve had a few shows and will release more this year and keep investing into the space for users and advertisers.”
On the ad-supported side Demi Lovato doc “Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated,” was one of the biggest projects to date and another ad-supported show coming through is “Training Days,” a soccer themed entertainment show with comedian and actor Jack Whitehall, produced by James Corden’s Fulwell 73.
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“Jack spends a training day with a great footballer, sees what they are like and adds his comedic flair – it combines the biggest sport in the world during World Cup year and has an amazing producer in James Corden, so it’s a wonderful combination,” says Kyncl.
The release pattern has not been set and differs by project. “The model varies by show, for some storytelling bingeing is amazing, for others a daily release pattern may be really interesting, and others work well on a weekly basis,” says Kyncl.
The starting point for the originals has often been existing YouTube stars, the Slow Mo Guys already have 10 million subscribers to their channel, but is widening. “Our strategy has been very creator-focused and that works and will continue to work, but now were also starting to expand into trying certain stories and seeing if they will work for us as well,” Kyncl said. “This year we have decided to expand that strategy and add a few Hollywood projects but we’re informed by what works on YouTube.”
In terms of premium scripted for YouTube Red there is sci-fi series “Origin,” which Left Bank, the Sony-backed producer of “The Crown,” is making for YouTube Red and which will bow at the end of the year. There is also “Step Up: High Water,” and “Impulse.”
Feeding the pipeline to Red will become increasingly important with a raft of international launches, including the U.K., expected this year. “It’s something we’re actively working on, and we want to make sure YouTube Red is available in as many markets as possible, now that we have cleared the rights it is on us to execute, Kyncl said.”
The YouTube and former Netflix exec says that pushing into originals in other languages is also part of the plan. “That’s right, with like Spanish or Hindi that reach large audiences, we’re working through that.”