Following several months of rumors that YouTube was on the brink of buying video production company Next New Networks, Google makes it official. The company also announced a new partner evangelism program called YouTube Next.
Video host YouTube today announced that it has acquired Web video production company Next New Networks.
YouTube says the newly bought production team will be on the forefront of testing new YouTube technologies, as well as acting as an incubator for up and coming video talent.
"Within YouTube, Next New Networks will be a laboratory for experimentation and innovation with the team working in a hands on way with a wide variety of content partners and emerging talent to help them succeed on YouTube," Tom Pickett, YouTube's director of Global Content Operations, wrote on a company blog.
"We are thrilled with the new capability the team brings and the positive impact it will have making our YouTube partners more successful," he continued.
Along with the acquisition news, Pickett also outlined the company's new "YouTube Next" program, which he described as "a new team tasked with super-charging creator development and accelerating partner growth and success." Those efforts, Pickett said, included outreach programs like meet-ups and community events alongside training and education programs.
Reports that YouTube was eyeing Next New Networks as an acquisition target were first reported by The New York Timesin December, though new tidbits on the sale had all but dried up since then. Pricing details of the deal have not been disclosed.
Other Google acquisitions that have been YouTube-related include annotations tool Omnisio in 2008, online video platform Episodic in April of last year, and sentiment analysis and recommendation engine Fflick just last month. Out of all those, this is by far one of the boldest moves in turning YouTube into an original content creator of its own, something competitors like Microsoft are said to be cooking up to challenge existing TV content networks for viewership on Internet-connected TVs and set top boxes.