What MTV was to kids in the '80s and '90s, YouTube is to millennials now: the video platform has become a primary source of entertainment for young viewers, and has helped launch the careers of a new generation of online celebrities. Given its influence, it was not surprising to learn that the Google-owned platform is planning a renewed push into original programming. To that end, CNN reported today that YouTube has hired Susanne Daniels, former president of programming for MTV, to be the vice president of YouTube Originals.
Web video has been blamed for stealing younger consumers away from traditional networks, and YouTube is certainly responsible for much of that. But it's also been facing increasing competition from subscription services like Vessel, and even social networks like Facebook — which is aggressively ramping up its video offerings — likely added pressure for YouTube to pursue more original series. Daniels has a strong track record of producing popular shows, including Army Wives, Dawson's Creek, and Gilmore Girls.
YouTube Originals is the latest big push from the video platform, which recently launched standalone apps for YouTube Gaming and YouTube Kids. The company is also building a new ad-free subscription service. Naming a VP for original programming shows YouTube wants to be taken seriously among the other big players in the digital world. And if Daniels is looking for promising videos around which to base a new series here's one that's ripe for exploration.