YouTube Doesn’t Want To Compete With Netflix. How Susanne Daniels Is Getting Ahead Of Streaming Wars

By Wendy Lee
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Susanne Daniels, Youtube’s head of original content is tackling the everchanging world of digital entertainment head on.  

Los Angeles Times

Four years ago, veteran TV executive Susanne Daniels was tasked with an ambitious plan: build a set of original programs that would leapfrog YouTube into a prominent player in the subscription streaming marketplace, competing against the likes of Hulu and Amazon Studios.

Now, the online video giant is pivoting away from that strategy. Original programs, once largely behind a paywall, will become free, supported by ads by 2020. And the Google division is scaling back its investment in original scripted programming, focusing more on productions centered around YouTube stars, celebrities and musical artists.

The shift is about knowing your audience, says Daniels, YouTube’s head of original content.

“We’re zigging where other people are zagging,” Daniels said in an interview with The Times at the former historic Spruce Goose hangar in Playa Vista. “Part of the way we’re thinking now is, ‘what can only be done on YouTube?’ ”

Analysts cite several factors behind the change, including the high cost of developing scripted shows and increasing competition that YouTube faces from established players such as Netflix and Amazon.

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