YouTube is about to pull the plug—or at the least the funding—for up 70 percent of its premium content channels.
The move comes at the end of a bold and year-long $100 million experiment to foster specialty program to rival broadcast television. While the corporate pink slips aren’t being handed out for another couple of weeks, YouTube has outlined its criteria for determining which of the 100 channels will continue to receive funding.
“We looked at viewership they’ve been able to achieve, the cost of the content, and from that we are able to determine the channels that are delivering the best return on our [investment],” Jamie Byrne, YouTube’s global head of content strategy, told Ad Age.
With that in mind, the Daily Dot identified five channels that probably won’t get renewed for season two, based on YouTube Original Channel Tracker (YOCT).
1) Shaq Comedy // YOCT ranking: 84
Shaquille O’Neal isn’t known for his comedy (just watch him at halftime for NBA games), but that hasn’t stopped the big fella from trying. His channel promised urban-themed comedy with standup, original Web series, sketch shows, and animation, among other things. While his channel offers some clips of comedians, only two of his promised segments recently launched and his star power has failed to bring in the viewers. Of course, it doesn’t help that he hosted a webcam show, Ask Dr. O.
2) Team USA / YOCT ranking: 58
Everyone loves the Olympics. Team USA’s channel is full of interviews, potential viral videos, and a look behind-the-scenes at practices. But once the torch goes out, it doesn’t have the same pull for the rest of the year. The channel will probably perk up again leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics, but the bandwagon interest might not be enough to save this channel.
3) Smart Girls at the Party / YOCT ranking: 99
With Amy Poehler front and center, this channel has plenty of advice and educational programming geared towards young girls. On the surface it sounds like this recipe would be a smash success. And Poehler’s advice series brings out the best in YouTube: It’s personal, insightful, and at times, inspiring. Yet, the channel only managed about 1.6 million views since its launch, reinforcing the notion that celebrity power simply isn’t enough to make a successful channel.
4) Maker Music / YOCT ranking: 87
Maker Music is just one of 12 music channels that received funding from YouTube and ultimately got left behind in the shadow of The Warner Sound (which is thought to be a future rival of VEVO) and Fuse. This is one channel that would have benefitted from having celebrity names attached to it. The biggest artist Maker Music managed to feature was Snoop Dogg.
5) Official Comedy / YOCT ranking: 80
Toted as YouTube’s official comedy channel, Official Comedy isn’t up to the Super Official standards of Daym Drops. The channel promised classic sets from veteran comedians and five different original shows, but none of them managed to breakout over the last year.
Photo via Shaq Comedy/YouTube