It’s all happening. This October, YouTube is launching 13 themed networks for France, which will appear both on the web and on connected TVs.
An RFP was released for programmes to populate the networks, a process that sticks out especially because it wasn’t only major production firms that could enter; agencies and websites were also eligible. Brands that made the cut include production firm Endemol, agency Capa, website Auféminin.com (for women) alongside sister site Marmiton (for cooking); and “new generation” producer “Troisième Oeil” (“Third Eye”). Jean Dujardin, who made a big Stateside splash this year, has also been asked get involved in a comedy project.
The budget for partnering producers may range from 500,000€ to 1,000,000€ for the development of 20 hours of programming. The networks will be closely themed around family, health, cuisine or culture, and — crazier still — the annual programming budget is roughly the equivalent of French primetime network TF1.
Ad profits above and beyond a promised minimum will be split between content creators and YouTube, although pending contracts suggest that producer margins will be squeezed. Producers will also be forbidden from airing their programmes on other media for the first year.
Similar deals are currently being made for YouTube network launches in Germany and the UK.