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YouTube Red announces list of new originals; 'Step Up' to release in 2017

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CANNES: With Japan being the country of honour this year, one of the biggest content markets in the world MIPCOM took off with a great start by having Sony Corporation CEO and president, Kazuo Hirai, delivering a keynote session on the company’s work and its recent Playstation VR launch. While Japan promises to be 8K-ready by 2017, there was another interesting keynote session by YouTube global head of content Susanne Daniels about the original series and movies being featured on YouTube Red.

She was joined on stage by: Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs and Rooster Teeth co-founder and chief creative officer Burnie Burns.

Susanne Daniels starts off by introducing what YouTube Red is. While YouTube’s content is available at free of cost, YouTube Red is a paid membership that enables the ultimate YouTube experience. Members get all of YouTube uninterrupted, a premium YouTube music experience, and exclusive access to new original series and movies from top YouTube creators. YouTube Red is currently available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, with plans for additional international expansion throughout 2017.

“People have asked me what’s our original programming strategy? Are we planning to mirror Netflix or Amazon in bringing TV to digital, or recreate the programming themes of MTV? The answer to those questions is no. Our goal is to be uniquely YouTube. And our thesis is simple: Identify YouTube’s most engaging stars and top genres, and invest in the content that fans tell us they want. In other words, let our community drive our content.”

Daniels goes on to mention that over the last year, YouTube Red has seen its original series become one of the leading drivers of subscriptions, with viewership that rivals cable shows in the US. Over half the time people spend watching originals on their mobile phones. And in the living room, Red members watch over 75 per cent more YouTube on their TV’s than the average YouTube viewer.

Talking about their digital strategy, Kevin Beggs says, “At Lionsgate, we pride ourselves on going new places and forming innovative new partnerships that have never been tried before. Time and again, we’ve been first movers on new platforms. I believe YouTube is embarking on something big, a new chapter in its history that has the potential to change the way people think about its brand in a way that can benefit all of us here.”

“I often get asked about the secret of our success. And to me, it easily comes down to two things: community and conversation,” a cheery Burnie Burns says. Talking about his journey, Burns elaborates, “When Rooster Teeth was born there was no YouTube and no real online advertising opportunity. So we had to engage our audience not only to watch our content, but also invest in it as well. We learned early on that talking “at” our audience was not enough. We knew we had to start a conversation, take them from being just viewers, to fans and friends, and ultimately create an engaged community around our brand for our business to succeed.”

In the end, good news came in for YouTube fans as new season renewals and shows was announced. These include:

Renewal of another season of the series Foursome, the sequel to Burnie Burns’s Lazer Team movie, and season two of Scare PewDiePie.

They have greenlit a second season of Joey Graceffa’s murder mystery series, “Escape the Night.”

YouTube Red has commissioned a drama with Universal Cable Productions called IMPULSE, from director Doug Liman. IMPULSE is a sci-fi thriller about a young girl who discovers her ability to teleport away from danger. The series will feature top YouTubers and will have Jeff Lieber - best known for the TV series “Lost” - attached to write and produce.

Next is a scripted comedy series from Dan Harmon’s Emmy Award-winning production company Starburns Industries. The series will feature YouTube stars Dan Avidan and Arin Hanson of Game Grumps and follows a newly-formed team of eSports players trying to make it to the top in the cutthroat world of competitive gaming.

The next original is going to excite you as together with Studio 71 and Corridor Digital, Dwayne Johnson will executive produce a new half hour action series about a life insurance company that send its agents forward 33 days in time to prevent the accidental deaths of its clients.

Along with these, the announcement made by Kevin Beggs would be loved by all the dance lovers as he disclosed that Lionsgate will be coming out with episodes of their hit movie franchise Step Up in 2017.

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