YouTube partners with Kevin Hart, Ellen Degeneres for original series

YouTube partners with Kevin Hart, Ellen Degeneres for original series
Ellen DeGeneres after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President Obama.
PHOTO: AFP

Kevin Hart and YouTube will partner on a new series called "Kevin Hart: What The Fit," another way the Google-owned platform is trying to prove it deserves advertising dollars earmarked for television.

YouTube announced seven ad-supported exclusive shows at Brandcast in New York on Thursday, its annual presentation where it showcases content for advertisers. Other new shows include a talent competition called "Best Cover Ever" produced by Ryan Seacrest, as well as shows from Ellen Degeneres, Demi Lovato and a Katy Perry live special. In addition, Rhett and Link and the Slow Mo Guys - who got their start on YouTube - will get series.

Hart also announced he would be working on a new streaming network called "Laugh Out Loud," featuring multicultural comedians. No additional details were revealed.

YouTube already has exclusive content on its platform from creators, as well as original new shows and movies on its YouTube Red subscription service. It will have about 40 new original shows through that service this year. It also debuted YouTube TV in April, a live TV service that does not require a cable or satellite subscriptions.

More 18 to 49-year-olds visit YouTube on mobile than view any TV network, CEO Susan Wojcicki said at the event.

But some advertisers have said YouTube isn't the same as television, especially because ads are placed based on user interest not against set programming. In March, a report from the Times of London showed ads from several high profile brands were running next to neo-Nazi and jihadist content on YouTube and on sites whose ads were placed by Google-owned platforms.

Wojcicki apologised for the recent YouTube advertising scandals, where several ads were seen running next to inappropriate content. The company was adding new technology, offering brands new controls and working with third-party sources like comScore and Integral Ad Science to prevent these incidents from happening again.

"We apologise for letting some of you down," said Wojcicki. "I'm here to say that we can and we will do better."

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