YouTube will cut at least 60 percent of its programming for next season, which means 96 of the 160 channels it created over the last year will no longer get funding from the site. Last year, YouTube began its journey to look more like a television network, doling out over $100 million to "channels" that would create "premium" shows that would attract advertisers. Now, a year later, we get to see what works on Internet TV and what doesn't. For example: "Celebrity alone isn't enough to drive it," Courtney Holt told Ad Age's Michael Learmoth. He's the COO of Maker Studios, which launched Tutele, Mom's View and the coming Maker Music. "You need to have a commitment to the platform, to understand how to build your audience." YouTube will continue giving money to the shows that were watched the most and used their budgets most effectively, YouTube Director of Content Jamie Byrn told AllThingsD's Peter Kafka, meaning looking at Ad Age and Deadline rankings, we can get a good idea of what will make it and what won't.
With YouTube becoming the MTV of the Internet, many of the most viewed channels have something to do with music. TheWarnerSound, which is Warner Music's official YouTube channel, streams music videos and is in the top 10 most viewed of all time list. Other popular offerings include: JayZ's Life and Times, a channel focusing on hip-hop, DanceOn, which has some dance oriented programming, and PitchFork TV ranks in the top 50 as well.
News and Commentary Shows
Some of the most popular channels some come from traditional media outlets like Reuters TV and WSJ Digital Network. Others are new-fangled commentary networks. Over at ClevverNews, another top ten channel, we get celebrity gossip and Hollywood news -- "everything from a positive, fun & upbeat angle." (They also have a popular Spanish Language affiliate, ClevverTeVe.) Also in that vein SourceFed has a range of culture commentary shows, too, while Vice and The Onion have also invested in programming that fits their brand.
Glorified Viral Video Hubs
As viral videos are still the most viewed contet on YouTube, it makes sense that channels have oriented themselves around the concept. That's where channels like RedBull, which shows people doing extreme things in short clips, and Mondo TV—"Short, viral and deadly funny! Mondo is where frowns and sadness go to die"—come in.
These are less prevalent, but some channels with more traditional scripted programming aren't doing too badly, either. WIGS, for example, caters to 25-49 year old women and offers short scripted drama, one of which stars Julia Stiles. Awesomeness TV also has some shows, including what looks like a painful CW-esque drama called Runaways. (Awesomeness also has pop culture commentary, which seems to be very popular on YouTube.)
So, that's what works, as for what doesn't, the bottom rankings consist of some cooking shows, which is kind of surprising since people go to the channel HowCast to learn "how to" do stuff. So one would think people might venture to these cooking channels for a more niche experience. Fitness programming doesn't fare too well either.