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YouTube prepares for connected TV future

Google plans a major revamp of its YouTube website as it prepares for the connected TV future, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the paper reported that YouTube is seeking to compete with broadcast and cable TV in an attempt to retain traffic for longer on the site. It is planning changes including organizing its home page into a series of channels around specific interest areas, with about 20 of those channels featuring a certain amount of professionally produced original programming each week.

According to the Journal, YouTube will spend up to US$100 million (€70 million) to commission low-cost exclusive content. tThe paper reports that YouTube is currently designing the channels and has held meetings with Hollywood talent agencies, possibly with a view to striking deals with production companies or directors.

The report suggests that Google will focus on low-cost content commissioned for the web rather than compete with existing distribution channels by paying costly licensing fees for mainstream TV content on the model of Netflix.