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YouTube enlists stars for original shows

News, 08 May 2017
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NEW YORK: YouTube is ramping up its efforts to expand the amount of original content it offers, with plans to release more than 40 original shows and movies over the next year.

After months of bad publicity following revelations that some of the ads it served landed up on inappropriate sites, the Google-owned video site sought to attract sponsors and advertisers to its new premium and original programming.

In a presentation to ad buyers at YouTube's Brandcast event in New York last week, the company revealed that a series of big-name celebrities will host original shows that will be aired for free and supported by brand sponsorship, while others will appear on YouTube Red, its subscription-based premium service.

As reported by Adweek, the line-up includes Kevin Hart, the actor and comedian, fellow comedian Ellen DeGeneres, singer Katy Perry, actress and singer Demo Lovato, as well as James Corden, the British actor-turned-star of "Carpool Karaoke".

Katy Perry will debut her next album live on YouTube, the company said, while other content will include Ellen DeGeneres taking viewers behind the scenes of her Show Me More Show, while Hart will team up with other celebrities as they try out different workout routines.

Keen to put the ad misplacement controversy behind it, YouTube also revealed that Johnson & Johnson, the consumer goods group, has already agreed to sponsor a talent competition, called Best Cover Ever, a global emerging talent show to be hosted by Ludacris, the hip hop artist.

Speaking ahead of the event to Bloomberg, Susanne Daniels, YouTube's Head of Original Content, explained: "We're working with YouTube stars and big celebrities that we know have global appeal, advertiser appeal and are largely established on the platform."

Data sourced from Adweek, Bloomberg; additional content by WARC staff

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