Hearst, Meredith Part of YouTube’s Major Content Push

YouTube’s initiative to bring 100 channels of original content to the streaming video site will include a large presence from magazine publishers. Both Hearst Corporation and Meredith plan to roll out channels to extend the reach of magazine brands.

Hearst will debut two new channels in 2012, one focused on automobiles in conjunction with Car and Driver, Road & Track, and Popular Mechanics, and a fashion and beauty channel drawing on the talent and editorial focus of Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Seventeen, and Realbeauty.com, the company announced Monday.

Also on Monday, Meredith announced it will launch the “Digs” channel, featuring seven original series on home and garden design. These include “Jordan in the House,” hosted by celebrity blogger Jordan Reid, “Gardens of the Rich and Famous,” and “Porcelain Thrones,” billed as an exploration of the “coolest, wackiest and ritziest bathrooms ever designed.”

Both Meredith and Hearst have well-established video production facilities. Meredith Video Studios produces the syndicated show “Better” and creates content for other brands including Parents, while Hearst’s facility has produced 12,000 videos across the company’s brands, according to company press releases.

YouTube’s channel initiative is seen by many as a full-on challenge to cable. The Google-owned website will bring in celebrity talent including Jay-Z, Amy Poehler and Ashton Kutcher to create original shows, which it expects will attract more lucrative sponsorships than what user-generated content can bring.

Other media brands with plans for YouTube channels include The Wall Street Journal, The Onion, Slate, Motor Trend, Reuters and Rodale Inc., which announced it will create the “Taste” and “Vigor” channels in partnership with BermanBraun.

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