Tuesday saw the Wall Street Journal raise eyebrows when it reported that YouTube was set to invest a further $200 million into beefing up its professional content push, just two months after putting $200 million into its ‘channel’ strategy. That cash injection would reflect a serious “doubling down” (as the Journal put it), but it turns out that this isn’t true and there is no second $200 million investment, the Google-owned video site has confirmed to us.
The Journal appeared to forget the $200 million from May and instead erroneously reported a new investment that would double of the funds. The tech media space being what it is, the news landed on Techmeme (and Mediagazer) before being picked up and reported by a number of other blogs and news sites.
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While the financial details were mistimed, one very important figure of the report was correct: the push on channels has helped drive video viewing to 4 billion hours per month. What’s particularly impressive about that colossal figure is that YouTube had notched 3 billion hours in May – giving it some 33 percent growth over just two months.
The push for original content comes as YouTube continues to refine its brand appeal and advertising solutions and ramp its catalogue of programming to solidify its position as the leader in online video, and compete with original content sites like Hulu, Netflix and others.
YouTube’s professional channels quietly launched in December 2011 and the program now features close to 100 premium content makers.