Machinima may just be the largest TV network you've never heard of -- only it's not technically on TV. Rather, Machinima is a YouTube channel and studio that caters to video gamers, offering up how-to clips, additional footage and user-generated films for both niche titles and top franchises such as "Call of Duty" and "Halo."
It's also viewed as the model for YouTube's forthcoming premium-content strategy. The Google site is expected to team up with best-in-breed partners to produce original content in vertical categories ranging from sports to cooking to video games, with programming help from the team at recent acquisition Next New Networks, another "neo-studio" with a loyal subscriber base, not unlike Machinima. If YouTube is the Comcast or DirecTV of the web, then Machinima wants to be its MTV .
"Because of their consistent traffic they can offer advertisers a very unique package," said Kenji Arai, strategic partnership development manager at YouTube. "Hopefully we will create other standout partners like Machinima in other categories as well. It'll take a combination of both companies that combines a comfortable niche and a part that really engages on the YouTube platform like Machinima does."