One of the scripted shows renewed for a second season is "Liza on Demand," which stars YouTube creator Liza Koshy as she navigates the gig economy. Koshy says she was 20 when she met Daniels and had never been to a pitch meeting before.
But Daniels supported the promise of Koshy's ideas and now Koshy, who once wrote, filmed and edited sketches for YouTube in her living room, is working with some of the people behind the movie "Can't Hardly Wait."
"YouTube has definitely empowered me to create ... but also create with them," said Koshy, adding that if she had brought the show to a different network, "I don't think the title would have my name in it."
As with other YouTube originals, however, "Liza on Demand" saw a big drop off in engagement after fans had to subscribe to see episodes behind the paywall (YouTube often shows the first episode for free), according to social video analytics firm ChannelMeter.
For example, Koshy's pilot episode for "Liza On Demand" was her most viewed video last year, with about 27 million views and 47,537 comments, ChannelMeter said. But the number of comments dropped to 3,306 for the third episode, ChannelMeter said.
"People are used to the free content," said Brian Park, ChannelMeter's head of influencer marketing and data. "These scripted shows that they put behind the paywall weren't worth it enough for people to stick behind."
Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television Group, which produces the YouTube original series "Step Up: High Water," based on the popular movie franchise, says YouTube's new approach makes sense.
"The evolution that they've made has been completely based on responding to their audience," Beggs said. "Compared to the old-school way of waiting for Nielsen to give you some feedback, they really know what's working and what isn't and they are not afraid to pivot." ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.