YouTube is still trying to figure out how to link up with Hollywood. Maybe Alex Carloss will help.
Until last week, Carloss was head of digital distribution at Viacom's Paramount. Now he's a Google employee, working on YouTube's content acquisition team.
He'll work with Robert Kyncl, the Netflix veteran Google hired last year to figure out its strategy for working with Hollywood and other professional content makers, which have yet to give the giant site all the video it wants.
A Google rep confirmed the hire; I've asked Paramount about their plans to replace Carloss, who had been at the company for six years. He'd previously worked at MGM, RealNetworks, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., and Disney.
After Google brought Kyncl on last fall, I assumed he would follow the script he'd used at Netflix, and start writing huge checks to the studios in order to get their movies and TV shows on the site. But while Google did buy the digital rights for the Miramax catalog last fall--I'm told the company paid out about $100 million for that deal--so far that seems to be an outlier.
Google/YouTube/Kyncl have been reaching out to content makers in other ways, though. As New York magazine reported last month, the site has been talking to Hollywood talent about creating cable TV-style "channels" for the site. The basic idea: famous people would help create and curate content for the site, and share ad revenue.
While that doesn't sound nearly as sexy as, say, locking up the Warner Bros. catalog for a YouTube exclusive, there is a logic there. YouTube is already striking up partnerships with lots of people you've previously never heard of, and making mini-stars out of several of them. And the main reason the company is set to buy Next New Networks is that it likes some of that start-up's acumen in building out new video franchises.
And while Google has denied a report that it was looking to create a Netflix-style streaming service in the U.K., I wouldn't be surprised if it did spend money to procure content outside the U.S. It's already begun making noises about buying the rights to American sports leagues for streaming deals in other countries--the Web video market outside the U.S. isn't nearly as established, or as expensive, as it's become in this country.