YouTube has had its first major redesign since Google bought the site – and it’s clearly aimed at making the video site more ‘TV-like’.
It’s now easier to find ‘channels’ from the front page, with a black navigation menu on the left hand side which allows users to organise channels, rather than simply search for video using Google search. ‘More and more, behind every great video is a great Channel,’ said YouTube via its official blog.
Three billion videos are viewed on YouTube every day. Google is attempting to ‘shift’ the way people use the site, with the increased focus on ‘Channels’ a clear attempt to mirror services offered by TV stations.
It also ensures that users are logged in via a Google account. The new look for YouTube mirrors the redesign announced earlier this week of Google’s home page. ‘With our announcement last month that more Channels are coming to YouTube, we want to make it easier for you to find and keep tabs of what you want to watch,’ said the company via an announcement on the official Google blog.
The final YouTube look comes after Google unveiled an experimental design in July called Cosmic Panda and used feedback from users to establish the finished appearance. According to their official blog Google believe the new design provides a ‘simpler YouTube, with a consistent grey background, bigger video thumbnails and a more streamlined watch page.’
Google also aims to offer more professional content on the site – and, as usual, everything will be free, supported by the internet giant’s advertising system. ‘DIY’ channels allow users to earn a percentage by signing up for Google’s ‘Partner’ programme, where they earn some of the advertising revenue generated by the site.
But YouTube will also offer professional content.The changes follow a move earlier this year when the site launched 100 new professionally produced TV channels in partnership with stars such as singer Madonna and actor Ashton Kutcher.
The move is designed to turn YouTube – already available via many internet TVs – into a rival to cable and satellite TV channels. Owner Google says that the channels will be on-demand services, each offering 25 hours of programming a day. The arrangement should work in YouTube’s favour when it comes to advertising.
Many big-ticket advertisers are relucant to be seen alongside ‘user-generated’ videos, and would be happier with professionally produced, star-studded content. YouTube is said to be paying up to $100million to producers to take part, and up to $5million per channel. The money is an advance on advertising money – Google will recoup its portion first before splitting the proceeds.
Google also aims to make the site more ‘social’ – even allowing users to share via Facebook, rather than their own, less popular Plus Network.’You can even link your YouTube account to Google+ and Facebook to see what your friends are sharing,’ said YouTube.
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