Google revamps YouTube to compete with broadcasters

Google’s reported to be planning major changes to YouTube to help it compete with broadcast and cable television services.

The move would position Google even more favorably to capture the growing market for internet-connected television.

Programming will be organized into 20 or so ‘channels’ such as arts and sports. While most of the content would consist of material already available on the site, the company is also planning to include professionally-produced original programming.

It’s spending as much as $100 million on this alone, says the Wall Street Journal, with each channel offering four or five hours of professional content per week.

Google has apparently been in talks with talent agencies and production companies about the new content.

The aim seems to be to compete with the broadcast companies more directly, while maintaining YouTube’s characteristic amateur content. Netflix is believed to be planning a similar move.

The move builds upon YouTube’s acquisition of Next New Networks last month. Google said the aim was to help amateur film-makers improve their offerings to make content more professional – and lucrative. At the time, though, it said it had no plans to move into content creation itself.