YouTube took to the Cannes Lions 2017 stage this week to announce original series programming for its ad-supported site.
The video giant has already invested in original programming for its subscription-only YouTube Red service. Now, the platform has commissioned six exclusive shows for the ad-supported side, featuring celebrities such as Ryan Seacrest, Kevin Hart, Ellen DeGeneres and Demi Lovato, as well as home-grown YouTube stars such as the Slow Mo Guys and Rhett & Link of talk show, ‘Good Mythical Morning’. They’ll begin airing this autumn.
Singer Katy Perry starred in a recent pilot for new original ad-driven series’ when she appeared on YouTube for 96 hours in the Witness Worldwide special. The four-day event, which ran from 8-12 June, received 49 million views in 190 counties.
Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original content, told Cannes Lions delegates: “As linear television is programmed region by region, it doesn’t allow for a global conversation to take place. As Witness Worldwide proved, YouTube gives people that global water cooler moment and our brand partners are able to drive that global conversation. The ad creatives we worked with on Witness could create content on the fly and weren’t held to any time-slots, which meant they could analyse success and make real-time changes.”
With many of today’s content streaming platforms preferring to opt for an ad-free model, YouTube is looking to buck the trend and help advertisers reach a proportion of the audience who watch more than one billion hours of YouTube every single day.
“Five years ago, 85% of all original series programming was ad supported. Today it’s only around two-thirds so we’ve decided to reverse the trend and give brands a meaningful alignment to original content,” Daniels concluded.