SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 20 ― YouTube plans to stop its original content... or at least most of it! The streaming video platform has announced that it will focus on its Black Voices and YouTube Kids programmes. Could this sudden decision be an indication that YouTube's original creations are not meeting with the success the company had envisioned?
Is YouTube admitting defeat? The streaming platform has announced the end of some of its original productions. In a statement published on Twitter, Robert Kyncl, the Chief Business Officer at YouTube, revealed the platform's new strategy, which prefers to focus on its Black Voices and YouTube Kids funds. “Going forward, we will only be funding programmes that are part of our Black Voices and YouTube Kids Funds,” the press release reads.
An update on YouTube Originals: pic.twitter.com/PixhgZ2yhU— Robert Kyncl (@rkyncl) January 18, 2022
A decision that is linked, according to Robert Kyncl, to the departure of Susanne Daniels, the global head of original content of YouTube, set for March 1, but also by “new opportunities” and their desire to “make a greater impact.” “However, with rapid growth comes new opportunities and now our investments can make a greater impact on even more creators when applied towards other initiatives, like our Creator Shorts Fund, Black VoicesFund, and Live Shopping programming to name a few,” explained Robert Kyncl.
YouTube will not directly remove all programmes launched outside of Black Voices and YouTube Kids. Content that is already under contract will continue to run until the end of its term before likely being deprogrammed: “We will honour our commitment for already contracted shows in progress and creators who are involved with those shows should expect to hear from us directly in the coming days,” outlined Robert Kyncl.
Launched in 2016, YouTube Originals debuted exclusive series and movies on the platform. With 250 million views in 2017, the platform began offering free content with celebrities. Most recently, Will Smith was creating buzz on YouTube with his Best Shape of My Life show about his new physical fitness journey. In 2018, many YouTube projects like Cobra Kai, On Becoming a God In Central Florida, and Step Up, eventually aired on Netflix, Showtime or even Starz. Was it a sign of the beginning of the end?
YouTube has nevertheless boasted of having 2 million creators in the YouTube Partner Programme with more than US$30 billion (RM125.8 billion) earned by creators, artists and media over the past three years. ― ETX Studio