In October 2011 the global major announced plans to invest $100 million in professional media companies to make video content for YouTube in the US; now it has begun approaching video content providers in other regions, including Europe and Asia, and is currently in talks with potential Russian partners.
In an exchange with the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Matthew Glotzbach, managing director for YouTube EMEA, underlined Google’s strong commitment to launching the program in Russia. He also complained, however, about a “lack of people and time” that is hampering its progress in the country.
According to Glotzbach, the program is a way for Google to “encourage professional content makers to open their thematic channels on YouTube” and also to “make them aware that they could do big business on YouTube and present their content on the web in a new and interesting format.”
YouTube will neither claim the rights for the content nor meddle in providers’ editorial policies, the US firm indicated.
In Russia, Google is delving into a highly competitive environment for online video and music content. This includes not only international players like MTG with its Viaplay, Opera with its new music catalogand Apple with iTunes, but also emerging domestic competition ranging from the paid offers of Ivi.ruand Stream.ru to the free video sites Rutube.ru and Tvigle.ru. There is also a huge amount of content shared in Russia, legally or illegally, by the users of leading social network Vkontakte.ru.