YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) subsidiary Google, is planning to build original content in a bid attract audiences and advertisers.
The Google-owned video site has a freemium business model: monetizing user-uploaded videos with ads and subscription service called YouTube Red.
The company is looking to produce six original shows which will be free to view, according to reports from The Verge and Business Insider.
A report from Bloomberg suggests that YouTube will invest hundreds of million of dollars to create more than 40 original shows and films over the next year.
According to the reports, comedian Kevin Hart and TV host Ellen DeGeneres are joining YouTube. Though his YouTube channel Laugh Out Loud Network, Hart will present a workout-focused program called Kevin Hart: What the Fit? While DeGeneres will upload a show giving fans backstage looks at the making of her talk show.
Through its YouTube Red subscription service, YouTube is looking to compete with online streaming companies including Netflix, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video. Using its ad-supported original programming, the video site wants to attract visitors as well as attract premium advertisers who do not want their ads to appear alongside unsavory content.
Meanwhile, YouTube is investing money and committing more resources to produce content for its ad-free subscription service which costs $9.99 a month.
In 2016, YouTube funded nearly 30 programs for Red, according to Business Insider. The publication said that the company is looking to create shows that cost between $3 million to $6 million per hour.