Finally, it’s time to watch your favorite show. The popcorn’s popped, the dishes are washed, the lights are dimmed. You shut off the cell phone, sink into the couch, and turn on … YouTube?
The online video giant – famous for drugged toddlers, Rebecca Black, and quite possibly the best campaign ad in the history of mankind – is reportedly finalizing contracts for its first of more than a dozen channels, which will feature original, regularly-scheduled content on fashion, sports, and other mainstream topics.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google executives say they want to build a comprehensive video service that will rival traditional TV channels, not just a service to better compete with other Web video sites like Hulu, iTunes and Netflix. Google bought YouTube in October of 2006.
YouTube has requested content for channels in the next 60 days as it eyes a launch in early 2012, according to the report.
A Google spokesman was mum on the rumors, claiming, "We don't comment on rumor or speculation." It’s reported, however, that Google has been pitching the channel idea around Hollywood for months, and that YouTube is paying anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million to content producers to create and curate videos for a channel.
And with the March acquisition of an in-house production studio, Next New Networks, YouTube looks poised to make a splash in the world of original entertainment.