With millions of visitors a day, YouTube is one of the most-visited websites in the world. And you’ve probably seen the infographics of how many hours of programming is posted to YouTube per day. However, most of that content is still from independent users posting personal videos which are only meant to be seen by friends and family. While the occasional video, like “David After Dentist” (who I believe is from Leesburg or somewhere in Lake County), go viral, it’s hard for Google to sell advertising for a 20 second video clip.
Last year, they took pitches from hundreds of creators for original content channels. And these aren’t just channels like many of us have for our vacation videos. YouTube, through corporate parent Google, offer funding to these content creators as well as marketing support for professionally-developed programming. While channels began launching in January, a couple channels of note went live on Monday.
While none, at least from what I can tell, are locally-developed I thought some were worth highlighting. Mostly because I believe that this is a concept worth supporting, as providing new avenues for producing content and getting it out to the masses is positive.
Created by geek culture darling Felicia Day, Geek & Sundry offers some awesomely nerdy content. Among its launch day programming was TableTop, a panel show hosted by Star Trek: TNG’s Wil Wheaton, where a group of geek culture celebrities play a board game. In addition is Dark Horse Presents, a show featuring motion comics based on properties from the Dark Horse line. They will also host a sci-fi reading club, Sword & Laser, hosted by another geek darling, Veronica Belmont. Geek & Sundry will also be the home of Day’s web series, The Guild. And if you haven’t seen their new music video, in the shoes of “Date My Avatar”, do yourself a favor and watch it now.
Machinima is an online gaming network whose YouTube videos have been around for year’s now. Their alliance with YouTube will further support their efforts to provide features, interviews, and original content online with a focus on video games.
Many of us likely know Chris Hardwick from his time on G4’s Attack of the Show and Web Soup. He also is host of an immensely popular podcast, Nerdist, which has already been spun-off into a geek pop-culture show on BBC America. Now, he’s bringing new content to his own YouTube channel. Hardwick partnered Broadway Video (the production company behind Saturday Night Live) and the Jim Henson Company to provide new programming. Among other things is a celebrity “interview” show hosted by Weird Al Yankovic, a puppet show with the Doog (aka Neil Patrick Harris), a new show hosted by Diggnation’s Alex Albrecht and AOTS’s Alison Haislip, and more. Also, new animated features including Dr. Tran.
People who visit IGN know that the website already hosts a variety of videos. However, their YouTube channel .START promises to offer more than just the video reviews and clips that are featured on their site. Instead, .START will produce original programming with a video game focus. Shows like The Next Game Boss and Mix’d Reviews keep the video game theme. Cheap Cool Crazy offers three products that should be on your radar. And weekly news show Up At Noon with Greg Miller provides a Daily Show clone with a geeky focus.