YouTube weighs funding efforts to boost premium content

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LOS ANGELES – YouTube has embarked on a new round discussions with and independent producers fund premium content, two sources with knowledge talks told Reuters, a move that could bolster a three-year-old multimillion-dollar effort that has had mixed success so far.

talks underscore Inc’s desire complete YouTube’s transition from a repository for grainy home videos a site sporting more polished content crucial securing higher-priced advertising.

Over past two , YouTube executives have begun making rounds, talking to producers to explore kinds support it could offer its content creators and more must-see programming, according to the two people.

Executives did not lay out exactly how a program would be structured. One the two people said the site offer between $1 million and $3 million to a series of programs, and might contribute marketing as well.

The second person said the site was interested in videos shorter than the 30-minute, TV network-quality Web shows that Inc and other sites have recently funded.

“We are always exploring various content and marketing ideas to support and accelerate our creators,” a YouTube representative said in an email. The site declined to comment on the meetings.[eap_ad_2] 

The latest round of discussions is in its initial phases and actual measures never materialize, the sources said.

YouTube is by far the world’s most popular location for streaming, with more than 1 billion unique visitors a month, far surpassing Netflix Inc and Amazon. But it is trying to lure more marketers for premium advertising, boosting margins as overall prices for ’s advertising declines.

YouTube aside an estimated $100 million in late 2011 to bankroll some 100 channels, though it never confirmed amounts spent or other details. Beneficiaries of that largesse included Madonna and ESPN, as well as lesser-known creators. Reuters was one of the that received for a channel.

But few of those have garnered much mainstream attention.

“Over 115 of the channels launched as part of that initiative are now in the top 2 percent most-subscribed to channels on the platform,” a company representative said in an email.

YouTube has continued to backing for its content creators. It provides production facilities for creators, offers tips on how best to create content, and provides small amounts of for creators to test ideas.

The site also provides marketing support for celebrities, including paying for billboards and TV ads for the likes of beauty blogger Michelle Phan and baker Rosanna Pansino. (Reuters)[eap_ad_3]