There are many people that have managed to carve out their own niche on the video sharing site YouTube. These rising YouTube star have a strong following, with some of them earing a six figure annual income.
However, these stars may just get pushed to the side slightly as Google prepares to entice celebrities to the Google property. It is being reported that the search engine giant is looking to invest $100 million behind 20 Hollywood stars, which would work out to $5 million per celebrity. The expectation is that these stars would start their own YouTube channel that would be filled with original content. The $5 million would be considered startup money and could be used by the celebrities to cover wages and production costs with the celebrity maintaining full ownership of all shows produced for YouTube.
$100 million may seem like a large investment, but it is expected that Google would have no problem recovering their cost through premium advertising which they would run throughout the celebrity channels. Google’s move is a clone of what we currently see at Yahoo and AOL, but the big difference is that YouTube has a much wider distribution network and larger footprint.
Independent YouTube stars are not very happy with this move, but they do understand that this is business. These popular YouTube stars are already YouTube partners with some making a full time income from the website, but with celebrity channels, some of these independent channels will have a harder time getting more popular.