Taking a critical look at the Youtube Original Channels
In yesterday's NY Times, Mike Hale took the first truly critical look at the actual content featured in Youtube's much talked about premium content initiative. While I appreciate Youtube's attempt to up the level of content on their site - and in digital entertainment in general - I think it was a lackluster result...for the most part. Throwing money at established big media brands isn't something that Youtube needed to, or should be doing. Instead, they should have made a bigger investment in the 10,000 or so content creators who made their site what it is today. They did money to some of them...Machinima, The Fine Brothers, Phil DiFranco, but by in large they ignored their most important viewers.
Mr. Hale's article doesn't make that point directly, but he correctly criticizes the hodgepodge of unrefined, lackluster, "let's throw shit at the wall and see what sticks" programming that makes up most of the content in these new channels. He also points out that there are a number of channels doing it right - and it's my belief that a few of channels will rise from the fluff to do some truly excellent work.