Late Friday, Google announced an ambitious slate of nearly 100 “channels” for YouTube, each programmed by experienced media executives, production companies or celebrities. The move sends a clear message: Google wants a piece of the TV pie, and wants exclusive, high-quality content to help deliver it.
“TV is the Holy Grail,” Brad Adgate, senior VP and research director for Horizon media tells TVNewser. “I think this is something that has been gnawing at them for a number of years. TV is still the first screen. People spend more time in front of the TV set than any other screen. And it is tens of billions of dollars in industry, I think they would love to put television under their portfolio, I just think it has been a tough nut to crack for some of these tech companies.”
There are a number of news and commentary outlets creating channels, including Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Slate and Vice . Also on board to launch a channel are The Young Turks, led by former MSNBC host and soon-to-be Current TV host Cenk Uygur. The first program will be called “The Point,” and Uygur will pull double-duty, hosting it along with his Current show.
“I don’t know if the word is disrupt, I think probably compete is a decent word,” Uygur tells TVNewser. “Yes, they want to go after TV, and I think it makes all the sense in the world.”