Popular online video site YouTube has taken a new step in its development as an entertainment forum. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google, YouTube's parent company, is currently in the process of negotiating with producers to create custom content exclusively for the site.
Sources from within Google told the Journal that the search giant has begun talks with major media corporations like Warner Bros. and News Corp.'s ShineReveille, as well as celebrities like skateboarder Tony Hawk. These deals could cost as much as $100 million in advance.
The move reflects Google's attempts to capture some of the growing online streaming television market, as services like Netflix, Hulu and even YouTube become more popular for regular viewing on computers, tablets, smartphones and internet connected televisions.
Though Google has managed to turn a profit with YouTube, the site still cannot reach anywhere near the ad prices commanded by Hulu. David Cohen, executive vice president at Universal McCann, suggests that the recent move could change that fact.
ZDNet Asia notes YouTube could face heavy pressure from Amazon Prime, which looks to be integrated into the online retailer's new tablet.