Star cook Jamie Oliver went live with his new YouTube channel dubbed Food Tube Monday, with Oliver showing off some of the things to come during a fast-paced half hour live show. Oliver’s new channel is one of 60 European channels that received sizeable advances to produce original content for the site.
“We want to make you happy. We want to give you food shows with attitude,” said Oliver during Monday’s live stream, adding that the idea was to take some of the most popular food topics online — like cooking chicken — and give them the Jamie Oliver treatment. This will include live shows, recipes from around the world (including street food cuisine) and foodie Q&A time with viewers.
YouTube started to pour money into original content production when it invested a reported $100 million into channels from Hollywood celebrities, traditional news organizations and YouTube stars at the end of 2011. However, not all of those channels were able to attract significant viewership on the site. In November, news broke that YouTube renewed less than 40 percent of its original channel line-up – a number that is strikingly similar to the renewal rate of traditional TV shows.
Unique about YouTube is what’s working on the site: longtime YouTubers like Phil Defranco have had no trouble finding an audience for their new channels; some outside brands on the other hand have struggled. PandoDaily reported last week that ReutersTV and the Wall Street Journal’s YouTube channel are both not receiving any additional funding from the site.
It looks like Oliver learned a lesson from this: the TV personality is aligning himself with YouTube cooks for his channel. YouTubers like Barry Lewis from My Virgin Kitchen will be regularly contributing to the channel, and Oliver also plans to highlight a number of additional YouTube cooks in a special segment called Jamie Presents.