YouTube Channels this week expanded into Asia with the announcement that 13 producers from Japan have signed up to create exclusive content for the video streaming website. According to a report on The Next Web, the content partners will each publish videos regularly and will receive advanced funding on advertising revenues in order to enhance content creation. Five of the channels are already live, while the rest will be rolled out over the coming months.
The new content partners include; Fuji TV, which has a collection five channels; TBS, a channel based on a popular late-night show; Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, a model who has a channel based on Japanese fashion; and Crypton Future Media.
What is really special about the Japanese market is the fragmentation of media devices. Entertainment on mobile devices, such as Android phones and iPhones, or tablets, such as the Nexus and iPad, is still relatively new for the majority of the world. While in Japan, this is a trend that has been going on for a while. Since as early as 2005, the Japanese have been using mobile devices to watch television and play online videogames.
What’s unique about Pamyu’s fashion channel is that the shows are subtitled in English, a move that shows YouTube is aiming to make Channels an international platform for content creation and entertainment. Already, the initiative has proven popular in the United States and Europe with various big-name brands producing original content for the platform. It is yet to be seen if all Japanese content will include subtitles.
Now, with the Japanese expansion, it seems the company will make a serious effort in a bid to spread its Channel content into Asia. Japanese media is one of the most popular in the region, while South Korea isn’t far behind. This will also provide Japanese content producers a global outlet, rather than their usual national market.