Is YouTube Going To Begin Creating Original Content?

YouTube seems to have it all – growing at a rapid pace and surpassing other online video sites like no one’s business. They’ve got a huge variety of content, with over 35 hours being uploaded to the site each minute; they’ve got tons of ad revenue pouring in; they’ve got partners and viewers all around the world; and they’ve even got movie rentals. However, one thing that YouTube doesn’t have is original content, but that may be about to change. YouTube is rumored to be in talks to buy Next New Networks, which could mean big things for the video site in the original content arena.

While no monetary figures or definite plans have been announced quite yet, the possible deal between YouTube and Next New Networks has been getting all kinds of coverage, from GigaOM’s NewTeeVee to the NY Times and Reuters. The deal, if it goes through, could mean big changes for YouTube and the rest of the web video world.

You may be asking yourself why YouTube would feel the need to start producing their own original content. After all, aren’t they doing pretty well without it? But the truth of the matter is, sites like Hulu, Netflix, Blip.tv and others offer much more long-form content and users are starting to feel that longer form content is missing from YouTube. Additionally, with longer-form original content, YouTube will be able to increase their advertising revenue. They are currently making money off ad revenue on partner videos, which they split with those partners. With their own, high quality content, curated by YouTube themselves, they are likely to be able to target ads much more effectively, be even more gung-ho about promoting their videos (I know partner videos are promoted as well), and overall increase revenue big time.

Lately we’ve been covering some big changes at YouTube, which now seem to be someone of a hint that YouTube will be heading the original-content route. For starters, the site recently launched a new skippable ad format, similar to that of Hulu. Users are able to choose the ads that they want to see, and which they’d like to skip. Were skippable ads YouTube’s way of getting ready for advertising on their own original content? Additionally, the site also recently lifted the upload limit for many YouTube members, and YouTube star Ryan Higa released a 35-minute viral movie hit. Are we getting ready for longer form, original content from YouTube?

I think that it’s important to note that Next New Networks already produces some of the most popular content on YouTube, including shows like Auto-Tune The News, Hot For Words, Key Of Awesome and more, and was accountable for both the number one and number two YouTube videos of 2010 this year. Find out more about Next New Networks in the video below.

I am interested to find out more about the terms of the agreement. Would YouTube be more involved in curating and producing content? What would the partnership mean for partners and content creators not associated with Next New Networks? What would the partnership mean for Next New Network’s other partners, who include Hulu, Blip.tv, 5min and more? What do you think?

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