With the Internet growing as a major source of entertainment for a lot of viewers--both those who have made the jump to Internet-only television sources and those who use it as a supplement to their cable or satellite feeds--it's leading to a bit of culling. With YouTube (News - Alert) about to launch some cutbacks to redistribute resources and new information emerging about the sheer power of Netflix, the home entertainment landscape is preparing for another string of significant upheavals.
Perhaps one of the biggest shifts in the landscape is that YouTube will be cutting at least 60 percent of its original programming offerings for next season. While just last year, YouTube created fully 160 different channels, complete with fully-financed content produced by professionals, 96 of them are about to get defunded. But in the process, important lessons about the nature of online television were learned.
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For instance, as the COO of Maker Studios, Courtney Holt, revealed, "Celebrity alone isn't enough to drive it. You need to have a commitment to the platform, to understand how to build your audience."
Since Maker Studios brought out Mom's View, Tutele, and the upcoming launch of Maker Music, they've got a pretty good idea of just what it takes to build that audience. Additionally, music is rapidly becoming a major part of YouTube's lineup. Not that it wasn't already, of course, but it's only getting more pronounced with several major offerings like TheWarnerSound from Warner, which is in the top 10 list for all-time most viewed channels. Additionally, JayZ's Life and Times, DanceOn, and PitchFork TV all have places in the upcoming growth of online television.
News and commentary have a major place in the rankings as well, with big names like Reuters (News - Alert) TV in play, as well as comparatively new up-and-comers like ClevverNews. Viral videos--which have always been a major part of YouTube's operation--are even getting their own places thanks to RedBull and Mondo TV. Perhaps the weakest segment--though even here it's only weak in comparison to the growing segments in other divisions--is scripted drama, but there are still plenty of entrants in that market as well. The bottom rankings--the stuff most likely to get culled--seem limited to a number of cooking shows and fitness channels, not surprising given the large body of competition there is out there for these kinds of shows.
Naturally, this isn't to be considered a template for "what works" when it comes to online television. There will always be outliers, and plenty of competition throughout the sector. Given the wide array of possibilities there are out there--recent reports suggest that online video is consuming more bandwidth now than ever and the demand for it won't be falling off any time soon--thanks to a number of outlets like Netflix, Hulu (News - Alert) Plus, and a dizzying array of others, those looking to sink into their couch of choice and just watch will have more choices than ever. Some of these choices, naturally, will be lost, but where there's a webcam, a group of friends and a dream, there will be something new to watch online.
Edited by Brooke Neuman