According to a new report from All Things D, Google is getting set to invest in Machinima, which racks up more than a billion views each month of its gaming videos and series. This is a different kind of investment than the hundreds of millions Google has been handing out to create YouTube channels. With this investment, Google is getting equity in Machinima, betting on the long term future of web TV and taking a stake in one of that market's big stars. It's a move that parallels the way traditional TV companies like NBC invested in cable channels or web plays like Bravo, A&E and Hulu.
The aim with YouTube channels is to have more high-end series to advertise against and to showcase on connected televisions. YouTube has backed everything from gaming to health to comedy to sports, including our sister site, SB Nation. But the YouTube Channel money is a loan, with the partners getting to keep a cut of their ad revenue after they pay back whatever money they took from Youtube upfront.
Machinima is already a massive player, with 154 million unique visitors and 1.52 billion views this past March. It doesn't need any help on YouTube. Having Google as an investor and ally in the larger web TV wars, however, is a offer few companies would refuse.