Advertising giant Google is looking to branch out and become a broadcaster - or the Internet equivalent thereof - with a $100 million investment in professional content for its video sharing subsidiary YouTube.
YouTube is already home to some pretty impressive content, along with shakycam footage of sleeping cats and bizarre Japanese cartoons, but Google clearly feels it's not getting the most out of its acquisition of the company. As a result, it's reaching into its slush fund to get some serious content on the go.
Although not yet confirmed by Google itself, the Wall Street Journal quotes unnamed sources 'close to the matter' as stating that a $100 million pile of cash is being pushed at professional content producers. Google, for its part, is hoping to make its investment back on advertising - as if there was any doubt - splitting the proceeds with the content creators themselves.
The names linked to the deal include professional skater Tony Hawk, Warner Bros., X-Factor creator FreemantleMedia, reality TV expert Electus, and Ugly Betty creator ShineReveille - part of Friendly Uncle Murdoch's News Corp.
The videos created by the companies would join content from the likes of Channel 4, which already hosts clips and even entire programmes on the video sharing service, and would likely be available to watchers world-wide - although YouTube does have a habit of putting geo-location locks on some of its partners' content.
In addition to financing in the form of a cash advance and a cut of the eventual advertising proceeds, companies partnering with Google on the deal would find their brand pushed out to an audience of around 600 million visitors a month on devices from PCs and laptops to 'smart' TVs, tablets, and mobiles.
Sadly, Google isn't ready to spill the beans just yet. Responding to our query on the matter, a spokesperson declined to comment on "rumour or speculation."