You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Originals Chief Susanne Daniels Talks Rebranding, Budget, ‘Cobra Kai’

YouTube’s recent rebranding of its subscription streaming service is thus far a success, according to the company’s global head of original content, Susanne Daniels.

YouTube Premium seems to be working so far,” Daniels said Friday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour.

In May, YouTube Red, the subscription service launched in 2015 and built around long-form scripted and unscripted programming, was renamed YouTube Premium. The original name had been a head-scratcher for many, and drew mocking comparisons to a popular port site with a similar name.

I think we valiantly tried, and at a certain point realized that YouTube Red wasn’t sending the message about what offering is,” Daniels said. “It didn’t really speak to what the service was to viewers. After a while spending good money after bad in marketing and getting the research back that it really wasn’t resonating with viewers, we decided to rebrand and rename it.”

Daniels, whose career prior to YouTube included stints as top programming executive at the WB and MTV, also spoke about series budgets, and whether YouTube would follow competitors such as HBO and Netflix into eight-figure per-episode spending.

You’re probably not going to see us spend that amount of money for a ‘Game of Thrones’ or one whole series, or for a ‘Westworld,'” Daniels said. “I’ve always been a believer that you could make great shows for less money, and it’s not the episodic spend that makes something great. We’re still going to be doing a lot of content. We’re producing a lot of content. We’re going to roll out another 15 shows this year, we’ve rolled out 15 already.”

She added, “We’re really excited about what we’re doing. I don’t need $10 million an episode to create great content.”

Daniels also joked about the Emmy nomination for stunt work that original series “Cobra Kai” received — the first Emmy nomination for a YouTube original.

“It’s not enough,” she said. “We were robbed. I’m sorry, but ‘Cobra Kai’ deserved much more in my humble opinion. And I didn’t write that show. I just bought the show and got lucky. But I think the show is great. Obviously it’s self serving to say that, but it’s great. It’s done incredibly well, and the voters should have recognized it in more ways than just stunts. Although the stunts are very good.”

More TV

  • Riverdale Chapter Twenty-Six

    TV News Roundup: 'Riverdale' Sets 'Heathers' Musical Episode

    In Thursday’s roundup, “Riverdale” is set to tackle “Heathers: The Musical,” and Freeform has announced its second annual summit. DATES  The musical episode of the CW’s “Riverdale,” featuring nine songs, will air Wednesday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. On the show, Riverdale High School takes on “Heathers: The Musical,” with queen bees Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), [...]

  • The Bone Collector

    NBC Orders 'Bone Collector' Drama Pilot 'Lincoln'

    NBC has ordered the drama pilot “Lincoln,” formerly known as “The Bone Collector.” Based on the internationally bestselling book series, “Lincoln” follows legendary forensic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme, who was seriously injured during his hunt for the diabolic serial killer known as the Bone Collector. Called back into action when the killer re-emerges, Lincoln forms a [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gains, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

    Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations for international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States. For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year [...]

  • vudu-free-movies-tv-shows

    Walmart Brushes Off Reports of Streaming Development Halt

    Walmart isn’t ruling out options for a potential streaming video service, a company spokesperson says. Responding to a CNBC report that the mega-retailer had decided not to launch its own streaming entertainment service after all, Walmart would not confirm that there was any halt in development of such a platform, and did not have anything definitive [...]


    'Kominsky Method' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

    Netflix has picked up “The Kominsky Method” for a second season. The comedy stars starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin recently won two Golden Globe Awards, one for best comedy series and the other for Douglas in the best actor in a comedy series category. Arkin was also nominated in the supporting actor category. Season 2 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content