by Carson Abrir
How many jobs can you create with $100 million?
If reports about plans brewing at YouTube are accurate, about 20.
Six years after YouTube creators Chad Hurley, Steven Chen and Jawed Karim gave themselves one of the best Valentine’s Day gifts ever with the activation of YouTube.com on February 14, 2005, the now rich and famous young techies are about to make some other rich and famous people a little more of both.
If you’re rich, famous and don’t need the money, YouTube may want to talk.
YouTube is reportedly planning to spend up to $5 million and provide production money on each of at least 20 celebrities as guides for YouTube video channels. The Google subsidiary is betting big names will boost higher ad revenues than oodles of video uploads like Jawed Karim’s Me at the Zoo that first launched the site.
Project Runway’s Tim Gunn reportedly may be first in line for the YouTube Fashion Channel. The son of one of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI crime fighters, Gunn was featured last year in a video for the It Gets Better project talking about his attempted suicide as a teenager. Gunn’s video testimonial helped many fans understand the turmoil he overcame on his way to becoming a global fashionista.
YouTube’s predominantly young worldwide audience may find it tough to swallow the transformation of YouTube’s populist, open platform, culture and content into channels featuring original content from pricey celebrities. With billions in the bank and an unlimited supply of free content uploaded by the second, the company may be shifting their focus from winning the love and loyalty of users to buying a bigger share of online ad spending.
Before cutting that first big check, checking out another early YouTube video post, The Beatles Can’t Buy Me Love, might be a good idea.