Attention, aspiring actors: Google
The world's leading search engine is leasing office space in Beverly Hills, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It's the company's second move this year in building a SoCal presence.
Is Google simply trying to get Google TV right the second time around? Yes! Is this a push for stickier YouTube content? Yes. Do Larry Page and Sergey Brin want sidewalk stars on Hollywood Boulevard? I hope not.
Google had a rough start with its Google TV initiative last year. Its software platform was decent. It had topnotch hardware partners with Logitech
Hollywood wasn't too happy with Google plucking content from cyberspace on its terms. Many studios blocked Google TV. Now it's setting up camp in Venice and Beverly Hills, making it easier to get chummy with Tinseltown. Apple
The other likely reason for the new Beverly Hills digs is that YouTube is being dolled up in the makeup room. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the leading video-sharing site is gearing up to launch several genre-specific categories on its site. YouTube has had that for years, but the key here is that these channels will have hours of fresh, vetted content. YouTube is reportedly ready to spend $100 million to commission exclusive and low-cost content. The end result is that these channels will result in a more fluid couch potato experience.
We should've seen this coming. Last month's purchase of content creator and viral video promoter Next New Networks set the stage for the site's recent NextUp and Creator Institute promotions, where YouTube will professionally train dozens of its more promising video creators.
Arming webcam hobbyists and amateur filmmakers with the tools to create slick, sticky, and cheap content worth watching will go a long way toward arming YouTube with the consistent quality content it covets for these vetted video channels.
Google obviously doesn't have to be in SoCal to make any of this happen, but it doesn't hurt to send the message.
Does Google need Hollywood more than Hollywood needs Google? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is ready to officially classify himself as a clip culture junkie. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.