Google’s YouTube Site Adding Channels With Original Programming

Google Inc. (GOOG)’s YouTube, the most popular video-sharing service, is adding new channels of original programming, an effort to attract viewers with professionally produced content.

The new programming will include channels created by celebrities and producers from the fields of music, television, film, news and sports, YouTube said yesterday. The first of these channels will appear next month, with more coming over the next year. The project’s budget is about $100 million, a person familiar with the plan said earlier this year.

“The Web is bringing us entertainment from an even wider range of talented producers, and many of the defining channels of the next generation are being born, and watched, on YouTube,” the company said in a blog posting.

Google, which mostly relies on Internet-search advertising, is looking to YouTube to help boost revenue from video ads. U.S. Web surfers watched an average of 19.5 hours last month, up from 18 hours in August, according to ComScore Inc.

The new channels will feature content from actress Amy Poehler, actor Ashton Kutcher and basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, as well as news and how-to content.

Last year, YouTube unveiled a program that provides grants to promising video producers.

Google rose $1.47 to $600.14 at the close in New York yesterday. Shares of the Mountain View, California-based company have climbed 1 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at Bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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