YouTube: 100 online TV channels

Conversational English Class – Upper Intermediate +

Vocab: technology, general, phrasal verbs. Text only.


The Guardian (news – technology – youtube)


  1. What are some of the biggest changes to the TV industry in recent years?
  2. Read the sub headline and discuss your immediate impression about the business strategy.


YouTube to launch 100 online TV channels

Partners in challenge to traditional TV industry include Wall Street Journal, Madonna, Ashton Kutcher and Shaquille O’Neal.

Madonna is involved in dance video network DanceOn, one of 100 new channels to be broadcast on YouTube.


1. Please discuss and understand the following important vocab from the article.

Vocab & Phrases:

to unveil, challenge, to mark, to seek, to shift, user-generated content, a venture

to fork out, up to $100M, an enticement, to sign up, an advance, to be in line for

a step change, an even wider range, to engage


2. Now please read the text aloud.

YouTube has unveiled its latest challenge to the TV industry with the launch of 100 online channels of original programming from partners including the Wall Street Journal, Madonna, Ashton Kutcher and online magazine Slate.

The launch marks Google-owned YouTube’s most significant push into high-quality content as it seeks to shift the emphasis of the world’s largest video sharing website from its roots in user-generated content.

YouTube’s venture, for which Google will fork out up to $100m to producers as an enticement to launch channels, will see about 25 hours of new, original programming a day.

The majority of about 100 new online channels that YouTube has signed up will launch next year.

Those channels include Antony Zuiker, the creator of criminal drama CSI, rapper Jay-Z, former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, Rainn Wilson, one of the star’s of the US version of The Office, and skateboard legend Tony Hawk.

Media organisations launching channels include Thomson Reuters, Slate, satire site The Onion and Cosmopolitan owner Hearst.

TV production companies and film studios getting involved include Lionsgate, the US company behind Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, which is creating a fitness channel, and X Factor co-producer FremantleMedia, which is to launch a pets and animals channel.


The Money

According to reports, YouTube is paying $100m to producers as an advance on the advertising revenue that the videos will bring in. Advances are thought to be as much as $5m per channel and content creators are thought to be in line for more than half of all revenues made.

On Friday, Google also announced a new version of Google TV, adding search tools that expand results to include shows on cable or web-based services like Netflix and Amazon.

Robert Kyncl, global head of content partnerships at YouTube, characterised the channels’ launch as a step change equivalent to the way that the cable TV industry expanded viewing from a handful of channels to hundreds, such as MTV, CNN and ESPN, that now “define media”.

“Today, the web is bringing us entertainment from an even wider range of talented producers, and many of the defining channels of the next generation are being born, and watched, on YouTube,” said Kyncl in a blog post. “For advertisers, these channels will represent a new way to engage and reach their global consumers.”


3. Can you answer these questions?:

Do you like the business model?

What are some of the dangers for the content creators?

Is 50% of revenues a fair deal for producers?

How does one become a producer?


4. Exercise: Please choose the correct tense or form of the work.

Group 1

Vocab: to unveil, a challenge, to mark, to seek, to shift, user-generated content,

a venture, to fork out, up to.

1.       99% of the information on Wikipedia is ______________________

2.       I have realised that it is important for me to have new ________________ in work and in life, to keep things interesting.

3.       My car broke down and just would not restart. I took it to the garage and had to ____________ €300 to get it fixed.

4.       Google is ____________ new employees for its new offices in Navarra.

5.       The problem is not the ideas for new ______________, the problem is the money!

6.       Could you help me ____________ this piano? Its very heavy.

7.       May 24th ___________ the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2.

8.       Why do the media and corporate marketing professionals always use the same expressions like “____________” to introduce new products?


Group 2

Vocab: an enticement, to sign up, an advance , to be in line for, a step change 

an even wider range, to engage.

1.       I think its time that I ______________ for the gym, again !.

2.       In the 1960’s pop&rock bands used to receive huge _____________ for making their studio albums.

3.       Mercedes is planning to produce _________________ of cars in 2012 despite the bleak economic outlook.

4.       My company is constantly asking me _______________ more in my work, but I have no clue what they mean!

5.       High street banks have new marketing campaigns _______________ new accounts with the iPad2.

6.       If we just wait to see what happens we could ______________ a huge pay day!

7.       The introduction of the home television was a huge _______________ in the collective consciousness.



5. Discussion:

1.  How will people watch TV in 2015?

2. What’s your favourite programme on TV right now and which programme do you always watch if it is on?

3. How much TV do you watch online?


6. Using new vocab:

Discuss the idea of launching a new web based business online.

The concept is to generate information about Catalan culture from the public.

In the beginning there is no defined revenue stream but the business model includes the potential of using ad-words and youtube commissions.


About Author

Justin Donlon

English Teacher & Content Developer Over 15 years of experience in engaging educational content

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