YouTube is taking things in an entirely new direction in 2012, as you’ve probably heard. They’ve spent somewhere in the vicinity of $100 million to launch 100 new professional content channels over the course of this year, with channels ranging from the Wall Street Journal to action sports, education and entertainment being among the first to launch. Why has they decided to “channelize”? CEO Salar Kamangar explained in an interview earlier this week at All Things Digital’s D: Dive Into Media conference.
Kamangar explained, “We are working with our content partners and we’re trying to catalyze channel creation.” So why are they “channelizing” YouTube? Kamangar gives a couple of very good reasons. The first is that up until now YouTube has been organized around individual videos. Viewers are happy with this organization, but the problem is that with a focus on individual videos it’s hard to keep viewers around watching for long periods of time. Kamangar says that while YouTube’s global audience of 800 million blows away TV audiences, “the minutes viewed on YouTube is still very small compared to TV. The typical consumption experience on YouTube is you get sent a link, you watch a video and after three minutes you have to decide what do I care about and what do I want to watch at the same time every three minutes.” With channels, YouTube hopes that users will stick around to watch more by choosing in advance what type of content they’re interested in seeing.
Of course, YouTube is above all things an advertising network as advertising is where their income comes from. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as much surprise that channelizing the site will do wonders for their ad revenue. Kamangar explains, “If you see a dog on a skateboard video, the CPMs, the cost per thousand impressions, are about $2. Now, if you package that as part of a dog lover’s channel or a skateboarding interest channel, that same video can command a $20 CPM.” Therefore, these channels aren’t only potentially leading to more views and more time spent on the site, but their leading to way higher CPMs as well. If the company is right, this new initiative is going to be huge!
Check out Salar Kamangar’s interview at D: Dive Into Media below and let us know what you think. Have you had the opportunity to check out any of the new YouTube channels yet?
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.