New unit will facilitate production and audience development for content producers.
YouTube has acquired online video production firm Next New Networks, with the intention of boosting the quality of content and programming produced my members of its revenue share-based Partner Program.
Following the purchase the Google-owned video giant announced the formation of YouTube Next, a team focused on accelerating audiences for its content production partners - and ultimately attracting more advertiser spend as a result.
"Our goal at YouTube, and specifically with YouTube Next, is to help our partners grow and mature. That means not only helping them produce video content, but also helping them market that content and create bigger audiences," a YouTube spokesperson told ClickZ. "Marketers will see value in those audiences."
Launched in 2007, the partner program incentivizes users to create and upload content in return for a share of the revenue accrued through the sale of ads. To date the product has attracted over 15,000 users worldwide, with some now generating six-figure sums a year, the company said. Partners receive upwards of 50 percent of ad revenue generated by views of their content.
The larger the audiences for partners' content, the more revenue both YouTube and the partners can generate through ad sales. However, advertisers and marketers have historically been wary of aligning their brands with user-generated content, with many voicing concerns surrounding the quality and appropriateness of it as a branding opportunity on sites like YouTube.
YouTube hopes the acquisition could help allay both concerns. Next New Networks started out as a pure-play production company, but quickly saw demand from third parties seeking to increase the quality of their content and to package it more effectively.
Following the acquisition Next New Networks, CEO and co-founder Fred Seibert will relinquish his role, with the firm's chairman, Lance Podell joining YouTube to head up it's Next division. Seibert will instead focus on producing cartoons with his company Frederator Studios, he wrote in a blog post.
"Everyone here is very excited to work even more closely with the YouTube team, and looking forward to expanding our mission to provide guidance and support in creative, production, and audience development to all aspiring and current YouTube partners," he wrote. The remainder of the company's staff will continue to work out of its New York offices under the the banner of YouTube Next and Audience Development Group.
Previous clients for Next New Networks have included YouTube partner publishers such as The Gregory Brothers, Hot for Words, and Nalts.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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