Kevin Hart, Rhett & Link, and Ellen DeGeneres are just some of the well-known names in showbusiness that are currently producing original programming for YouTube, industry sources said on Friday. The Google-owned company is said to be presently financing over 40 shows, half a dozen of which will be fully-fledged original series, while the rest are designed with shorter formats in mind. All of the upcoming series are part of YouTube's latest push for original programming that the company is financing with the goal of improving user engagement rates in an effort to draw more advertisers, according to recent reports, and all content that the company is currently producing will reportedly launch in the next 12 months.
Hart and DeGeneres, as well as Rhett & Link's original shows are expected to debut on YouTube later this year, though no concrete release dates have yet been revealed. Regardless, sources claim that these particular shows won't be launched as YouTube Red exclusives and are instead meant to be offered for free through the standard version of YouTube's platform. Despite pushing for more free video content, the Google-owned company is currently also devising a plan to ennoble its paid streaming service, recent reports indicate, without providing concrete details on the matter.
While YouTube rarely invested significant sums in original programming for its free video service in the past, the popular streaming platform was likely pushed into this decision by other Internet giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, all of whom have recently been committing major resources to creating exclusive shows and other types of video content for their services. Even though premium original programming doesn't come cheap, YouTube is hoping that high-quality content will also attract more major marketers that still invest significant resources in advertising through traditional media like television. In a statement provided to Bloomberg, YouTube's chief of original content Susanne Daniels confirmed that the company is currently in the process of producing original shows with a number of YouTube celebrities and other stars, but didn't disclose any details on the matter. Regardless, more information on YouTube's efforts to ennoble its online platform with new exclusive content will likely follow in the coming weeks.