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YouTube in Talks to Buy Next New Networks

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December 16, 2010

YouTube in Talks to Buy Next New Networks

By Susan J. Campbell
TMCnet Contributing Editor

Much like its parent company, Google (News - Alert), YouTube appears to have acquisition pangs and is said to be in talks to buy Next New Networks, a Web video production company.

According to a New York Times report, the acquisition would be the first move by YouTube (News - Alert) into the area of original content production and demonstrates the company’s intent to move toward professional videos instead of short amateur clips.

More and more consumers are utilizing – and paying for – services like Hulu (News - Alert) and Netflix to watch shows and videos online. Google is trying to lure people to watch YouTube on their televisions with Google TV software. As a result, YouTube is increasing its focus on providing professional content to effectively compete.

A New York-based startup, Next New Networks was founded in 2007 with the intent to create original Web television shows. The company has already enjoyed success with series offerings such as “Barely Political” and “Indy Mogul.”

The startup broadened its focus a year ago to play a role similar to that of a Hollywood producer by scouting new video creators and offering them distribution for their videos. In the process, they help creators to find an audience and make money. With its Next New Creators program, the company has 65 independent creators whose videos represent more than half of the networks’ monthly viewing.

It appears the main focus for YouTube is the production role. Google continues to hesitate in creating new content as the giant would prefer to provide the platform for outside creators rather than to compete with companies it already benefits from with linking and hosting.

YouTube had already started to move this direction in July when it started giving grants to some video creators to improve their operations. The company also helps 15,000 content partners to promote and make money from their clips and lifted the time limit on video uploads for many video creators this month.

This acquisition would seem to make logical sense as Next New Networks has already been sending considerable traffic to YouTube. In June, the company celebrated the one-billion-view mark. Many of these views are on YouTube, already a key distribution point.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda

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