YouTube has unveiled its latest slate of original shows and films, as the video site continues to push its subscription service.
Speaking at VidCon this weekend, Susan Wojcicki, CEO, praised the original content that has so far been produced by YouTube and its partners. With 37 original titles now on Red, momentum on YouTube’s production is building. To date, they have generated almost a quarter billion views, Wojcicki revealed.
That pales somewhat in comparison to the overal viewing figures for the platform, with Wojkicki announcing in his VidCon speech that the site now racks up a whopping 1.5 billion views every single month – the equivalent of one in every five people around the world. On average, viewers now spend over an hour a day watching YouTube on mobile devices alone. The site’s growing focus on live-streaming has also boosted viewing by four times in the last 12 months.
Red’s slate of originals are also a part of fuelling that growth, as the site commissions content from creators with a loyal audience. This year, there are 40 original projects in the pipeline, with millions of dollars thought to be invested in them. But YouTube’s strategy is evolving – and expanding. It will also start to make original shows available to everyone with adverts, and will also be turning to more traditional celebrities for collaborations with wider appeal, including Katy Perry, Kevin Hart, and Ellen Degeneres. The hope is that this will increase their typical YouTube original audience from kids under the age of 18 to older viewers.
“We think we can have both,” Susanne Daniels, head of YouTube’s original programming, told The Verge. “The future will be more like 50 per cent homegrown YouTube stars and 50 per cent programming that isn’t endemic to the platform.”
YouTube announced details on 12 original titles in total. Here’s a video previewing them all – read on below for the full rundown:
Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television (Date TBC)
This action-comedy is set in a world where the LAPD thinks it’s a good idea to form a task force partnering actors with homicide detectives so they can use their “actor skills” to help solve murders. Starring Ryan Hansen (“Veronica Mars,” “Party Down”) who plays himself and guest star Samira Wiley (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Orange Is The New Black”) as his no-nonsense partner Detective Mathers, the series features a who’s who of broadcast and cable television stars playing bizarro versions of themselves including, but not limited to, Joel McHale Jon Cryer and Kristen Bell. Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Central Intelligence,” “We’re the Millers,” and “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”) serves as the director, writer, creator and executive producer of what’s being billed as as a “super meta half hour comedy procedural”.
Do You Want to See a Dead Body? (Date TBC)
This comedy series follows comedian Rob Huebel (“Childrens Hospital,” “Transparent”) and his celebrity friends, who begrudgingly join him on adventures that see them frolicking at the beach, getting tacos, … oh, and seeing a dead body. Celebrity guest stars include Adam Scott, Judy Greer, Terry Crews, Craig Robinson, and John Cho. Huebel, Owen Burke, Nick Jasenovec, and Jonathan Stern serve as executive producers.
Good Game (30th August)
The worlds of eSports and comedy collide in Good Game, a new scripted series from Starburns Industries, Dan Harmon’s Emmy Award-winning production company. The series follows a newly formed team of eSports players trying to make it to the top in the cutthroat world of competitive gaming, and stars the Game Grumps’ Dan Avidan and Arin Hanson along with Michele Morrow.
Lace Up: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge (Date TBC)
Hosted by YouTube star Swoozie, this innovative unscripted competition series from producer Ken Mok and famed sneaker designer D’Wayne Edwards sees aspiring footwear creators from around the world battle it out to determine who can design, develop and produce the next great sneaker.
Lifeline (Date TBC)
Set in the not-too-distant future, a little known life insurance company sends its agents forward 33 days in time to prevent the accidental deaths of its clients. The company’s best agent, Conner Hooks (Zach Gilford), has never missed a save – until he takes on the most personal case of his life. When 16-year-old Norah (Sydney Park) is orphaned on his watch, Conner pledges to protect her, even if that means putting his career at Lifeline – or his own life – in jeopardy. The series is being produced by Seven Bucks Productions, co-founded by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, and Studio71, the digital entertainment company and multichannel network of ProSiebenSat.1.
Furze World Wonders (Date TBC)
Extreme inventor and YouTuber Colin Furze takes his signature mad genius builds to brand new places. Known for his incredible backyard inventions, Furze puts his unique talents to use for other people, in this new YouTube Red show. Whether helping a brother and sister achieve a Guinness Wold Record for the largest water rocket or creating an epic battle barge for a family looking to even the score in an annual water fight, every episode is filled with epic and outrageous creations.
Escape the Night: Season 2 (Out Now)
The popular murder mystery series starring Joey Graceffa transports YouTube creators into a whodunit murder mystery where they’ll form alliances, solve clues, and brace themselves for terrifying new surprises in every episode. This season, nine new dinner guests find themselves transported into a Victorian-era masquerade ball where they must solve a mystery to survive.
Foursome: Season 3 (2017)
After Season 2 premiered to over 12 million views, Foursome has been renewed for a third season. In the new season, the gang scores tickets to a winter break vacation, but the Foursome’s problems aren’t so easily left behind. Starring Jenn McAllister, Season 3 will premiere later this year on YouTube Red.
Rhett & Link’s Buddy System: Season 2 (2017)
Rhett & Link return for the second season of their hit comedy series, which features Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal playing fictionalized versions of themselves. In the first season, the duo embarked on a Mythical adventure and confronted a cast of bizarre characters to save their wildly popular YouTube channel, Good Mythical Morning, from the clutches of their evil co-ex-girlfriend. The second season will see the two traveling to even greater comedic heights and encountering more outrageous characters along the way. The second season is produced by Mythical Entertainment and will premiere on YouTube Red later this year.
Mind Field (Date TBC)
Michael Stevens takes us on a journey deep into the mysterious depths of the human psyche as he investigates the strange and surprising terrain of the Mind Field. This season, Michael dives deep into the intertwined worlds of psychology and neuroscience. Working with the world’s top scientists and research labs, Michael will conduct groundbreaking demonstrations that are even bigger, deeper, and more astonishing than before and offers us a revealing look inside our own minds that we will never forget. The series is Executive Produced by Michael Stevens and by Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman for The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC). David Wechter serves as showrunner and Executive Producer.
Fight of the Living Dead: Season 2 (Date TBC)
Alpine Labs’ and Revolver Picture Company’s series returns for another intense season of zombie mayhem, as a group of YouTube’s most notable stars find themselves trapped in a fresh scenario battling all-new flesh eating humanoids.
Don’t. Get. Bit. Lazer Team 2 (Date TBC)
The Lazer Team returns in this sci-fi action comedy and second feature film from Rooster Teeth, co-directed by Daniel Fabelo and Matt Hullum. After Woody (Gavin Free) goes missing while working on secret, alien research, scientist Maggie Wittington (Nichole Bloom) must recruit the former members of Lazer Team (Burnie Burns, Colton Dunn, Michael Jones) to join her in rescuing their lost friend. It’s up to Maggie to bring the Lazer Team back together and rescue Woody.