Google is taking aim at the cable industry by putting up $100 million to develop original content for dozens of new YouTube channels, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
YouTube hopes to roll out the new channels next year, according to the report, which cited unidentified people familiar with the matter. The Web giant is near deals or has already reached agreements with skateboarder Tony Hawk and media companies Warner Bros. and News Corp.'s ShineReveille, the company that produces "The Office" and "Ugly Betty." Other expected partners include FremantleMedia, BermanBraun, IAC's Electus, Everyday Health, Iconic Entertainment, Anthony Zuiker, and DECA.
The company will reportedly recoup the advances by selling advertising to run with the content and eventually share that advertising revenue with the content partners.
A YouTube representative said the company doesn't comment on rumor or speculation, "but we're always talking to content creators and curators of all kinds about building audiences on YouTube. The more engaging, high quality content they bring to the site, the more content there is for YouTube users to enjoy."
The report comes as competition heats up for consumers' entertainment dollars. Amazon and Dish Network recently announced forays into streaming content to challenge Netflix, which has been experiencing a subscriber backlash after a price increase in its DVD-and-streaming plan.
As part of its Kindle Fire unveiling last week, Amazon announced it was bundling its new tablet computer with a free one-month subscription to Amazon Prime, which gives customers access to more than 11,000 movies and TV shows for $79 a year. The week before, Dish unveiled the "Blockbuster Movie Pass," a bundle of services that offers streaming video and discs and games by mail to existing customers for $10 a month.