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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Does the world need 96 new channels of YouTube content?

YouTube

Look, there was already a site called Multichannel News before we heard about this… from Multichannel News:

YouTube Preps 96 Channels With Original Content
Google Video Destination Seeks to Create More Advertiser-Friendly Inventory

By Todd Spangler — Multichannel News, 10/28/2011 10:37:09 PM

Google’s YouTube, looking to attract more advertising with professionally produced content, plans to launch some 96 new video channels in the next year featuring original content from a range of entertainment, sports and news partners.

Content partners YouTube announced late Friday include: Shaquille O’Neal’s Comedy Shaq Network, Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Media/Generate, The Onion, Thomson Reuters, Slate, Ashton Kutcher, Hearst Magazines, Meredith, Varsity Pictures and The Wall Street Journal, which plans to launch a lifestyle channel covering design, fashion, travel, wine, food and tech.

Traditional TV networks and movie studios are largely absent from the lineup. WWE is in the mix with plans to launch something called “WWE Fan Nation,” which promises “new, exclusive, behind-the-scenes videos that give unheralded [sic] access to WWE superstars and divas outside the ring.”

Lionsgate has a fitness channel in the works, while animation producer Frederator Networks is developing “Cartoon Hangover” and FremantleMedia has a still-unnamed pets and animals channel. Other content providers include CafeMom, Demand Media, Magical Elves and InStyle magazine, My Damn Channel, Pitchfork and TED Conferences.

Are our TVs not already chock full of more crap than we could ever watch, even if we wanted to watch it all? Doesn’t the glut of pointless, useless junk on the vast multitude of cable channels prove that there are already too many content streams and not enough good material to fill them?

And then there’s this, as Jason Kincaid on TechCrunch wonders:

[T]here are still a lot of questions: Will this content really rival the premium production values seen on cable? Will the shows be exclusive to YouTube? And how exactly is YouTube going to tweak the site’s user experience as it looks to shift users from funny cat videos toward these shows (which advertisers will be able to more effectively monetize)?

So there’s that: Not only do we probably not need another channel of animal shows, it’s likely that the production values of these shows will suck. It’ll be the worst of both worlds: We’ll get the rejected ideas from Animal Planet but with none of the charm of some guy’s funny cat videos.

I thought the point of YouTube was the You part. Should any of us who are among the You support YouTube moving away from some guy’s his funny cat videos, and away from all the other gloriously weird and funky and so very very independent material that has made YouTube YouTube?

I can’t figure out which I dread more: A cheap-ass In Style YouTube show — “This week: discover Gwyneth Paltrow’s favorite hand cream!” — or whatever the hell content-farm Demand Media thinks it can do to ruin online video the way it has ruined online writing.

Does the world need 96 new channels of YouTube content?

Please say no.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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