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YouTube partners with stars to add original programs

/ 11:21 AM October 29, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO – YouTube on Friday announced it is adding about 100 channels of original programming to the globally popular online venue for video sharing.

The Google-owned website’s dive into original content includes deals with celebrity partners such as pop music star Madonna and actor Ashton Kutcher.

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“Even more talented creators and original entertainment will soon join YouTube’s existing channel lineup,” YouTube global head of content partnerships Robert Kyncl said in a blog post.

“Including channels created by well-known personalities and content producers from the TV, film, music, news, and sports fields, as well as some of the most innovative up-and-coming media companies in the world,” he added.

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Google reportedly laid out more than $100 million to establish the partnerships, which come as the California technology titan tries to become a preferred source of content for Internet-linked televisions.

“These channels will have something for everyone, whether you’re a mom, a comedy fan, a sports nut, a music lover or a pop-culture maven,” Kyncl said.

The first of the original channels will appear on YouTube next month with more added through the coming year.

The original content channels are being added as Google tries to breathe new life into its moribund Internet television platform.

Google on Friday unveiled second-generation Google TV software that simplified controls, improved search, slicker integration with video-sharing service YouTube and the option to add applications made by outside developers.

“In the grander scheme, it is another step on a long road,” said Chris Dale of the Google TV team. “We are committed to the product and making it better.”

Google is among technology firms betting that the future of home entertainment is films, television shows, and other video content streamed on-demand over the Internet.

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The California Internet titan last year launched Google TV, which is powered by Android software and Chrome Web browser and can be accessed using Sony TVs or set-top boxes from Logitech that route Web content to existing television sets.

Sony and Logitech have both slashed prices on Google TV offerings in the face of disappointing sales.

Updated Google TV software that will begin rolling out next week seeks to make it easier and more intuitive for viewers to find online video.

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TOPICS: Celebrities, Computing and Information and Technology, Entertainment, Film, Google, Internet, Music, Youtube
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