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YouTube unveiled the biggest redesign in its history today, with the goal of making the Internet video service work and look a lot more like TV.
The goal of the redesign, which was leaked last week, is to get users to spend more time at the site, while also earning more money from advertisers.
It's all part of Google's plan to turn YouTube's three billion video views per day -- and three billion monetized views (that is, videos with ads) per week -- into a major profit center. The company has never disclosed revenue figures for YouTube, but outside sources estimate it will garner about $1.6 billion in revenue this year.
The redesign focuses YouTube around channels instead of individual videos. Any user will be able to create their own channel, then post their own videos or curate them from around YouTube.
Now that's really interesting information when put into context with the fact that Youtube is the number one application on all connected device app stores on game consoles, TVs, and Blu-Ray players. And it satiates the rumours have been rampant since the WSJ reported in April 2011, that Google is overhauling Youtube to push more aggressively onto TV screens to compete head-to-head with broadcast and cable television for ad dollars.
With Half a Billion or a fifth of global TV sets slated to be connected to the Internet by 2016 - it's not a far leap of logic that Google will perhaps dominate this new realm by tackling from both side - Google TV and Youtube.
Google was planning a YouTube movie subscription service in UK, that Google was reaching for brand sponsorship of new 'Youtube Originals' - moving into video production, the wildfire rumour that didn't happen with Google to buy Hulu for $2 Billion?, and even going as far to Negotiate to Stream Live NBA, NHL Games on YouTube. Google acquired New Networks for this very move.
Let's stop from differentiating between Google TV and Youtube... they are merging and will be very much part of the same ecosystem in the future. Right now, Youtube is by far the most popular TV App on Connected TV Devices (...even a YouTube 3D Video App on the Samsung Smart TVs). It's lean-back, short form, and very compelling to the masses - the UK Internet population made more than 785 million visits to online video websites – an overall increase of 36% year-on-year and YouTube accounts for 70 per cent of that. Justin Bieber recently passed 2 billion views of his Youtube channel.
And the fact they are moving forward on projects with the likes of Disney, offer a free movie streaming service (having struck deals with the likes of Sony, MGM and also Blinkbox), pushing hard into live streaming,and a plethora of other new deals.
The Wall Street Journal came out with an article describing Google's aspirations in offering offer paid cable-TV services to consumers - which is a move that could unleash a new wave of competition within the traditional TV business. And a move that will fit very nicely with Google TV Advertising platform - a project that has been quietly running for a couple of years behind the scenes. Not only is Google stealthily moving into the value chain via the cable pipes, it appears they are not thinking small when it comes to fiber networks either.
With Google doing a deal with Samsung for Google TV - that's going to push Youtube to the forefront, and owns the Smart TV market with 30 per cent global market share.
And with support by companies such as Dell for instance - who are moving into the arena with a large majority of the sets offered on the Dell.com TV deals site already coming with internet connectivity of some sort, and most include a YouTube app built in.
Instead of 500-odd channels on TV, Google TV and YouTube are making a play for the next 10,000.