LONDON (AP) — YouTube is taking its original programming venture to Europe, announcing a slew of new partnerships aimed at internationalizing its array of tailor-made videos with content from Britain's BBC, London-based FreemantleMedia, Netherland's Endemol, and dozens of others.
The Google Inc.-owned video site said Monday it is launching more than 60 new video channels with content from Britain, Germany, France, and the United States. The new programming will be in addition to the 100 channels of content launched in the United States last year.
Like the pre-existing American offerings, the European channels will have a mix of celebrity-oriented, niche, and established programming.
"Some of the channels are personality-driven, others are from partners who are totally passionate about a subject," Ben McOwen Wilson, who manages YouTube's northern European partnerships, said in a telephone interview ahead of the announcement. He said the goal was to let content producers come up with something they couldn't deliver on TV.
The expansion into Europe marks another step in YouTube's foray into a business model typically associated with traditional commissioning editors.
McOwen Wilson said the new channels would include programming from BBC Worldwide, the British public broadcaster's commercial arm, Endemol, the Dutch company behind the "Big Brother" reality television franchise, and FreemantleMedia, an arm of German media giant Bertelsmann responsible for "American Idol."
He declined to say how much YouTube was shelling out for the European expansion. The Associated Press has previously reported that the company paid out $100 million (€77 million) to producers when it launched its U.S. channels in 2011, with advances reaching up to $5 million per channel. Factual programming includes "Euronews Knowledge," from rolling news channel Euronews and "Truthloader," by ITN Productions.
The channels will also count content from more niche players: the British offerings include online shows such as "Guinness World Records: OMG," co-produced by the famed U.K. record keepers and "The Jamie Oliver Food Channel" co-produced by the celebrity chef. Other British channels range from offerings on drum and bass (Mixmag TV) to childcare (Netmums) to makeup tips, fashion, royalty, and more.
Cooking With Dog
Cooking with dog is not exactly what it sounds like. "Chef" cooks various Japanese dishes as Frances narrates and dog, a miniature poodle, looks on. To date, the 89 episodes have been viewed more than 45 million times. The channel certainly has a cult following. <em>SF Weekly</em> has <a href="http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2012/01/top_5_cooking_with_dog_episode.php" target="_hplink">complied a list of the top five episodes</a>, and there's a "<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cooking-With-Dog-Fan-Club/145541405522381" target="_hplink">Cooking with Dog Fan Club</a>" Facebook page.
HumanmiaL: Art of Transformation
HumanmiaL is half man, half animal, and 100 percent awesome. <a href="http://www.vice.com/read/the-humanimal-isnt-in-it-for-the-kicks" target="_hplink">According to <em>Vice</em></a>, HumanimaL is Alex Kovas, a London-based actor and artist who covers himself in body paint and wears animal masks, much to the delight of partygoers, wedding guests, and, of course, the YouTube audience. On his website, Kovas says that <a href="http://www.humanimals.co.uk/#!__about" target="_hplink">he has the ability to transform himself</a> into horses, antelopes, deer, a rabbit, big cats, dogs and even a unicorn. While he was recently <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGUlZb6uc5I&list=FLnyOp4LVxU78eTSsaQB92Rw&index=1&feature=plcp" target="_hplink">featured at a Wimbeldon party for Slazenger</a>, he told Vice that most of his corporate clients are in the medical and banking industries. <a href="http://www.vice.com/read/the-humanimal-isnt-in-it-for-the-kicks" target="_hplink">Click over to <em>Vice</em> to see an interview</a> with Kovas. <em><a href="http://www.awesome-robo.com/2010/11/8-of-most-fed-channels-on-youtube.html" target="_hplink">H/T Awesome Robo</a></em>
Charlie's Live Action Role Playing (LARPing) Videos
YouTube user <em>redwormcharlie</em> has dozens of videos of him and his fellow "Larpers" dressing in character and acting out role-playing scenes. Larping, for those of you who are not in the know, <a href="http://www.larping.org/larp-definition/" target="_hplink">is defined by Larping.org</a> as "a continuation of a table-top roleplaying game that people choose to act out by becoming a character and staging a fantasy world experience in which their character lives."
Air Guitar World Championships
All air, all the time. Watch the world's top airheads rock out on the official <a href="http://www.airguitarworldchampionships.com/" target="_hplink">Air Guitar World Championships</a> channel. Want to see it in real life? There's still time to get to Northern Finland in August to see the 17th Air Guitar World Championships. The air shredding begins on August 22.
<a href="http://www.cyriak.co.uk/" target="_hplink"><em>Cyriak</em> is a UK-based animator and musician</a> who creates videos, comics, illustrations and, well, animations. His 2010 "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FavUpD_IjVY&feature=plcp" target="_hplink">cows & cows & cows</a>" video been viewed more than 16 million times. On his YouTube page, he says he uses Photoshop, After Effects and Fruity Loops to create his videos. <a href="http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/10-amazing-youtube-channels-subscribe/ " target="_hplink">[Via MakeUseOf.com]</a>
Guns & Gardens - Doomsday & Apocalypse Survival
After watching a few episodes from Guns & Gardens - Doomsday & Apocalypse Survival, you'll no longer be unprepared for the impending zombie apocalypse. Marque Cornblatt, the "Inventor," says that Guns and Gardens "is a kind of doomsday think tank." The San Francisco artist is joined by his friends who not only build and sell defense equipment, but also show viewers how to defend themselves in the event of a zombie apocalypse. And yes, <a href="http://www.guns-n-gardens.com/app.html" target="_hplink">there's an app for that</a>.
Open Minds TV
Each week, <a href="http://www.openminds.tv/" target="_hplink">Open Minds</a>, an organization focused on extra-terrestrial, alien and UFO phenomena, releases a new episode of Open Minds TV. The show has only been on for a few months, but guests so far have included <a href="http://www.syfy.com/factorfaked/team" target="_hplink">Ben Hansen</a> from SyFy's "Fact or Faked," Navajo Rangers, <a href="http://tvblogs.nationalgeographic.com/2012/06/26/meet-the-ufo-chasers-ben-mcgee-physical-scientist/" target="_hplink">Ben McGee</a> from <em>National Geographic</em>'s "Chasing UFOs" and HuffPost's own <a href="http://www.leespeigel.com/index.php?ptp=bio" target="_hplink">Lee Spiegel</a>.