Due to a lack of success with its original series, YouTube was reportedly set to take a step back by axing current programming and refocusing on advertisement revenue over subscriptions. The platform doesn’t want to just play it safe however, as it appears YouTube has tasked a brand new, designated team to oversee choose-your-own-adventure-style shows.
Google has supposedly been concerned about the cost of YouTube’s original scripting since last November, with sources telling the Hollywood Reporter that “a serious budget reduction” was in the works. This meant that the platform was unlikely to sink billions into exclusive programming in order to truly rival Netflix, Amazon and now Apple, but it hasn’t given up entirely.
YouTube’s Global Head of Original Programming Susanne Daniels told Bloomberg on Tuesday that interactive programming is the way forward, intended to boost views and bolster ad revenue simultaneously. This is thanks to “amazing new tools and opportunities to create and tell multilayered and interactive stories.” The project will be overseen by Ben Relles, who has stepped up from Head of Unscripted Programming to Head of Innovation for YouTube Originals.
Although multiple choice adventures have been around for quite some time, the move is undoubtedly an attempt to emulate the staggering success of Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which has seen a plethora of copycats emerge following its release. Given that Bandersnatch was made using concrete data that Netflix’s already substantial user base loved Black Mirror, it remains questionable whether YouTube will be able to pull the same feat off.
Currently, we don’t know what its new line-up consists of or when each show will launch, but it’s an exciting time to be a viewer.
KitGuru says: While I’m all-for unknown talent emerging in the industry, I think one of YouTube Original’s biggest downfalls was trying to transform its prominent entertainers into actors. It targeted the younger market who can’t pay for subscriptions on their own. Hopefully choose-your-own-adventures will help to save the company’s efforts along with ad revenue.