YouTube has announced plans to launch about 100 online channels in partnership with several media production companies that will produce original daily content.
The free YouTube channels are expected to be available to Australian audiences on any internet-connected device. The channels will begin rolling out next month, with further launches over the next 12 months.
Well-known personalities such as Ashton Kutcher, Tony Hawk, and Deepak Chopra, as well as major media companies such as FremantleMedia and BermanBraun have partnered with YouTube to launch their own channels.
"Our goal with this channels expansion, along with the grants and educational programs we’ve launched in the past year, is to bring an even broader range of entertainment to YouTube, giving you more reasons to keep coming back again and again," the Google-owned company said in a statement.
"And for advertisers, these channels will represent a new way to engage and reach their global consumers."
The new channels' original content will provide a striking contrast to the often-humorous, amateur videos, that YouTube is known for. It will also ramp up competition with cable television channels. The new channels will show both short- and long-form content and shows will follow a TV-like schedule with programs launching at the same time every week.
Google has provided significant advances to the companies involved with production and, The Wall Street Journal reported, original content makers will keep 55 per cent of ad revenue once the advances are recouped.
The YouTube channels will present another challenge to Australia’s existing media regulatory regime, which is currently being reviewed by the government's convergence committee.