A year ago, Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s Vice President and Global Head of Content, announced that nearly 100 new original content channels were coming to YouTube. A week ago, Kyncl provided an update on their original channel initiative stating on the YouTube Blog, “When we look at the numbers, you’re liking what you watch.”

He revealed:

  • YouTube’s top 25 original channels are now averaging over a million view/week.
  • 800 million people are watching 4 billion hours of video on YouTube every month, which is up from 3 billion hours earlier this year.
  • The number of people subscribing to YouTube channels has doubled year over year.
  • Partners this year are reaching the 100,000 subscriber mark 5 times faster than they were just two years ago.

Kyncl also announced the launch of a new generation of more than 50 original international channels coming from France, Germany, and the UK as well as the US. He said,

“From local cuisine, health and wellness and parenting to sports, music, comedy, animation and news, this new lineup of original channels will have something for everyone. They are backed by some of the biggest producers, well-known celebrities and emerging media companies from Europe and the U.S.”

So, what does this mean to internet marketers and video content producers? I don’t know about you, but when I look at all these YouTube original channels, I see ad revenue.

On behalf of Google, Kyncl invested $100 million in new channels last year, and will invest another $200 million this year to market the channels, plus an additional, undisclosed amount that video creators can use for production, marketing and other costs.

How did Kyncl convince Google to put more money into marketing 100 YouTube original channels and creating 50 more?

As Agent Jay (Will Smith) said in the movie Men in Black (1997), “Uh, wait, that was on ‘Final Jeopardy!’ last night.”

Google takes its initial investment out of the ad revenue that YouTube makes selling ads for these video producers. So, it’s safe to assume that Google thinks there’s more ad revenue than advertising inventory in certain YouTube categories.

And, there are 22 YouTube categories where there are millions of ad dollars, but not enough existing Partner content? They include:

ComedyGamingPets and Animals
DanceHispanicScience and Technology
Family OrientedHome & GardenTravel
Film and AnimationHow-toUrban
Women’s Interests

A couple of years ago, there were 16 categories of video on YouTube. So, I think it’s fair to say that there are some whole new categories that advertisers are now targeting. These include: Beauty, Dance, Family Oriented, Finance, Food, Hispanic, Health, Home & Garden, Urban, and Women’s Interests.

And there are a couple of categories in the old list of 16 that advertisers aren’t targeting. This includes Nonprofits & Activism as well as People & Blogs. And if there aren’t enough advertisers interested in these categories, then Google isn’t going to throw a big party in their neighborhoods.

As Agent Zed (Rip Torn) said in Men in Black, “We’re not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here.”

So, let’s say we’re one of the biggest producers, well-known celebrities, or emerging media companies in Europe or the U.S. who wants to get on the YouTube bandwagon. Or, we’re an activist or blogger who wants to join the thousands of people now making six-figure incomes.

Where do we start?

As Agent Key (Tommy Lee Jones) said in Men in Black, “We’re gonna check the hot sheets.”

But I’m not talking about the supermarket tabloids. I’m talking about the advertising trade press.

Specifically, the YouTube Original Channel Tracker, Ad Age’s all-time ranking of YouTube’s Original Channels, Google’s $100 million experiment in content. And the other YouTube Original Channel Tracker, Ad Age’s weekly ranking of YouTube’s Original Channels, including the top episode of the week.

They show me the success stories that I’d want to analyze if I wanted to create an original channel that made buckets of money.

For example, the week of Sept. 30th to Oct. 6th, the top channel was thewarnersound with 10,216,763 views. And the top episode on that channel was “The Sound Off: Wiz Khalifa, Stevie Nicks, CeeLo Green, Michelle Branch.”

Go ahead, read the New York Times if you want. They get lucky sometimes.

For example, Claire Cain Miller recently interviewed Kyncl, who told her,

“The thing we learned is it’s certainly best to fish where the fish are.” He added, “In terms of making investment decisions and putting dollars at risk, we’re going to focus on audiences of 35 and below, who are already on YouTube.”

So, when I look at all these YouTube original channels, I see ad revenue. What do you see?

Now please step this way, as we provide you with our final test: an eye exam…