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YouTube Preparing Major Site Overhaul

April 7, 2011

U.S. Internet giant Google is preparing a major overhaul of video sharing website YouTube by creating “channels” to compete with broadcast and cable TV, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The Journal reported the YouTube homepage will highlight different channels focused on topics like arts and sports.

About 20 of the channels will present several hours of original programming produced professionally every week, while other channels would use content that is already available on the site.

The Journal said that the launch will be phased in over time, starting before the end of the year, and it will cost as much as $100 million.

The newspaper reported that YouTube hopes the changes will further boost traffic to the site and take a bit out of the $70 billion U.S. television advertising market.

YouTube executives told the paper they want people to “watch YouTube” the same way they “watch TV.”

YouTube said in recent weeks that it held meetings with Hollywood talent agencies, which the Journal reported was more likely to produce deals with directors of production companies than with movie stars and other celebrities.

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