YouTube has selected several French producers to create thematic channels on its video website starting in October.
Google has been planning the free French TV channels for over a year, while also planning for unique content from the UK and Germany.
YouTube, owned by Google, considers French-owned Dailymotion its primary competition in online video.
Over a year ago, Google launched an international call to creative producers, both professional and amateur, to create entertainment content exclusively for YouTube. In France, Google selected the powerhouse producer Endemol, next-generation production house Troisiee Oeil, Capa, French actors such as Kabo and comedian Jean Dujardin, and even French websites such as aufeminin.com and marmiton.org.
The future French channels will focus on family-friendly entertainment such as health, cuisine and culture, targeting a demographic friendly for advertisers.
Google will loan the partner producers between $500k to $1M euros to produce 20 hours of new content each year. The costs exceed the annual primetime budget of TF1, France's premier network. Google plans for the loans to be paid-back in ad revenue. For the channels where revenue exceeds the loan, Google will share the revenue with the producer.
After an exclusive period on YouTube, Google will permit producers to commercialize their content freely outside of the video behemoth.