YouTube's original content channels have been a major focus for the company in 2012 — and at an "upfront" event to marketers and advertisers in New York City last night, the company made it clear that the focus will continue. Following musical performances by Jay-Z and the Neon Trees, among others, YouTube publicly pledged some $200 million in marketing support for the company's professionally-produced original channels. This support will come in the form of advertising throughout YouTube itself as well as around Google's wide-reaching display network, helping give the relatively-new initiative even more visibility. According to The Next Web, that money will be divided up amongst the 100 or so YouTube original channels, with Google using its shared revenue model to recoup its investment — all ad revenue will go to Google until the advance is paid off, with revenues being split down the middle after that.

Ahead of yesterday's presentation, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt categorized YouTube as "another distribution channel," noting that he expects it to augment current video solutions, not replace it — but he also sees a good opportunity for advertisers to try new strategies. Schmidt also said that he believes ""we're about to see another large explosion in the use of video" — last night's event was the latest effort to line up advertisers to ride that wave with along with Google.

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