YouTube has made a further move towards the television sector with the acquisition of web production start-up Next New Networks.
Launched in March 2007, the New York-based company has built its own platform for the development and packaging of original web video programming for online audiences. It has attracted over 2 billion views and 6 million subscribers across its partner networks.
“Within YouTube, Next New Networks will be a laboratory for experimentation and innovation with the team working in a hands on way with a wide variety of content partners and emerging talent to help them succeed on YouTube,” Tom Pickett, director of global content operations and YouTube Next, wrote in a blogpost. “We are thrilled with the new capability the team brings and the positive impact it will have making our YouTube partners more successful”.
The New York Times reported YouTube’s parent Google will pay less than $50 million for the venture.
This latest encroachment into the content space will heighten the debate within the broadcast community as to whether YouTube is friend or foe, particularly when its content continues to fall outside of the current regulatory regime.