The past few days have seen announcements from Twitter, Hulu, and others about the future of online video streaming. Last night in New York, YouTube made an announcement of its own: the Google-owned online video platform will come out with six new original series that will be available exclusively on YouTube. Last year, the company debuted subscription service YouTube Red, which already has original content made by YouTube and its creators, but these new shows will be available only on YouTube's regular ad-supported site.
The six new shows all have a YouTube creator or celebrity attached to them. Kevin Hart's show, Kevin Hart: What the Fit?, will take the comedian and his friends into new and sometimes grueling fitness situations; Ellen DeGeneres will take viewers behind the scenes of her talk show in Ellen’s Show Me More Show; Demi Lovato documents the writing and recording of her newest album in I Am: Demi Lovato; and Ryan Seacrest (unsurprisingly) developed the talent competition Best.Cover.Ever, in which people submit covers of songs to compete for the change to sing with a megastar. On the YouTube-creator side, Rhett & Link will produce a long-form version of their popular show Good Mythical Morning while more slow-motion experiments from YouTube's The Slow Mo Guys will be documented in The Super Slow Show.
The new show announcements were made at YouTube's annual Brandcast event. Not only did YouTube executives highlight recent achievements at the event, but YouTubers and celebrities also came out with their stories of how YouTube changed their lives. Kevin Hart spoke about how his international fanbase grew from people finding clips of his comedy on YouTube, and The Late Late Show host James Corden credited YouTube for his recent rise to fame, calling out the popularity of his Carpool Karaoke segments (his Carpool Karaoke scene with Adele was the "most viral" video on YouTube in 2016).
Used to be that when a beloved media property was replaced, you found out by flipping the dial. Maybe you'd tap the "favorite" button on your car dash or tap the 2- or 3-digit channel number on your remote, only to find that a beloved radio or TV channel had switched formats.
On Thursday, the Internet equivalent happened to a once-beloved YouTube channel—and showed exactly why those old days of quiet format swaps aren't so easy to do anymore.
Caught changing the Source
The SourceFed family of video channels began as part of YouTube's "original content" initiative in 2011, and it revolved around hosts commenting on news and gossip. The initiative eventually splintered off with video feeds focused on certain topics, including a dedicated "NERD" channel that eventually topped one million YouTube subscribers on its own. SourceFed's various feeds lasted about five years before its final owners, Group Nine Media, shuttered the operation last year.