By Sydney Livingston
It seems that everyone is trying to get in the production game. Following in the footsteps of tech giants like Amazon and Netflix who have begun producing their own narrative television, YouTube has launched its own production wing to create scripted content. In addition to hosting videos, the Google-owned content platform has announced their plans to finance and produce scripted content for their platform, rather than allowing users to simply upload their own.
YouTube initially cornered the digital media market in 2005 by providing the first mainstream video-hosting website in America. Purchased by Google for $1.65 billion in 2006, the site has achieved success and ascendancy over other digital content platforms for its user-friendly design. Part of its prominence can be attributed to its ethos of accessibility, as the platform promotes itself as an egalitarian alternative to platforms like Vimeo by providing free service, a simple interface, and user-generated content.
However, YouTube Head of Originals Alex Carloss stated that a significantly larger percent of the company’s production budget will go to directly supporting successful YouTube channels in their efforts to create more regular, episodic content. The company will also be working with non-YouTube talent to develop channels that mimic conventional television programming without the format constraints of network television. Rather than being limited to 30 or 60 minute time slots, creators in the new YouTube initiative will have the freedom to develop and produce video content that redefines the television genre.
This push towards scripted video content is facilitated by the fact that YouTube already has first-rate production studios in a variety of locations around the world, including in Los Angeles, Berlin, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro. Equipped with large sound stages, studios, green screens, a equipment depot, post-production editing bays, and an in-house coffee bar, these so-called YouTube Spaces are fully equipped to produce high-quality scripted content. These facilities are available for use by successful channels with over 10,000 subscribers, like Strife TV.
Aristokat Media has had the privilege and opportunity to shoot at the Los Angeles YouTube Space, located in Playa Vista, a number of times through our partnership with Strife TV. We partnered with Strife TV’s Mitchell Dumlao to shoot footage of a talented dancers, athletes and performers in 4K, 5K and 8K resolutions on a number of RED cameras and also recently, on a Phantom Flex 4K camera. The footage was exquisite, as well as the beginning of a long partnership between Aristokat Media, Strife TV, and YouTube.
This new scripted content initiative by YouTube is a revolutionary push towards redefining the media that we consume for entertainment. Rather than funding content through the typical top-down production company strategy of hiring an outside team of production specialists and filmmakers, YouTube is making resources available to the producers of its more outstanding channels, thus providing more opportunities to artists who already create successful, user-supported content.
Aristokat Media is looking forward to seeing where this new push toward narrative production takes YouTube, as well as its successful channels like Strife TV. In the future, keep an eye out for more Aristokat-Strife TV collaboration. Chances are, we’ll be at the forefront of this new creative revolution. We’re currently working on a big project..