YouTube will stop streaming most original shows

YouTube will cut a significant portion of YouTube Originals, which produced original content, including scripted series, educational videos, and music and celebrity programming. YouTube Chief Commercial Officer Robert Kyncl announced the changes today in A declaration on Twitter.

Going forward, the company will only fund originals for the YouTube Kids Fund and the Black Voices Fund, a program created in 2020 that committed $100 million to “amplify” black creators on the platform.

“With rapid growth comes new opportunities and our investments can now have a greater impact on even more creators when applied to other initiatives, like our Creator Shorts Fund, the Black Voices Fund and Live programming. Shopping to name a few,” the statement read.

YouTube Originals has changed its approach over the years. Created in 2016 and led by Susanne Daniels, it started with scripted shows and creator-driven movies, like comedy-thriller series Scare PewDiePie. In 2017, YouTube said the first season of subscriber-only Originals racked up 250 million views. The company began shifting to ad-supported content featuring celebrities like Katy Perry and Kevin Hart, free to users without a subscription.

But in six years, YouTube has created few titles that looked like smash hits. And in the end, it was unclear what original programming strategically brought to a service that is already one of the most popular video destinations in the world.

Today’s statement also announced that Daniels will be leaving the company in March, which also contributed to the decision to downsize the division.

New original programs have been announced as recently as last year, including series starring Will Smith and Alicia Keys. YouTube says it will honor existing commitments for ongoing shows and reach out to creators in the coming days.

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