New York – Google’s (NASD: GOOG) YouTube is planning a major overhaul of
its website, which will organize content around channels in a bid to make the
service more appealing and sticky to viewers watching via television interfaces,
The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The
topic-based channels will include 20 or so that will feature several hours of professionally
produced, original programming each week.

The company will also reportedly spend up
to $100 million to commission low-cost Web content.

Additionally, YouTube has in recent
weeks held meetings with talent agencies including CAA, William Morris Endeavor
and ICM, to encourage their clients to create YouTube channels.

Sources told
The Journal that YouTube was in talks with Miramax last fall to license some
700 films for roughly $100 million, but a deal has not yet materialized.



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