It's Official: YouTube Dips Into Pockets Again to Fund New Web Videos

Has Built Studios Around the World for Creators to Use

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YouTube's Los Angeles production studio.
YouTube's Los Angeles production studio.

Google's YouTube is reaching into its pockets again to develop more high-polish original web programming, all the better to attract viewers and big brand advertisers.

The online video-sharing service is investing in its top talent to fund new content, Alex Carloss, head of YouTube Originals, said in a blog post yesterday, making official an expected return to paying for quality content. The plan, for an undisclosed amount of spending by Mountain View, Calif.-based Google, follows an about $100 million effort begun in 2011.

Google is bolstering its spending on YouTube as it seeks to become a stronger competitor to traditional TV and digital upstarts such as Netflix and Hulu. The company has already built studios with video equipment in cities such as Tokyo and London and paid for marketing campaigns for popular YouTube stars such as fashion icon Bethany Mota. YouTube introduced new ad tools earlier this year.

"We feel the time is right to make another important investment in our creators," Mr. Carloss said, without providing specifics. "Making compelling new content isn't easy, and we expect to learn a lot through this process."

The previous investment program in 2011 produced 86 channels that are now among most popular 1% on YouTube, according to the company.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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