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YouTube to spend $200 million more on professional videos

The site initially spend $150 million to acquire talent for original programming, and now wants to market it more effectively to the target audience.

YouTube's Robert Kyncl giving a keynote address at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.
YouTube's Robert Kyncl giving a keynote address at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.
James Martin/CNET

YouTube is ready to dump more cash into its professional programming, according to a new report.

Google-owned YouTube will drop another $200 million into the programming to more effectively market the nearly 100 channels boasting professional videos, the company told the Wall Street Journal in a report published yesterday.

The Journal is reporting today, citing sources, that YouTube has so far attracted $150 million worth of advertising to its original programming. That investment, if it carries throughout the year, would help cover the startup costs YouTube incurred to get its programming off the ground.

YouTube has so far invested $150 million to experiment with original programming. That cash has been used for production and to attract a host of well-known stars, including Rainn Wilson of "The Office" fame and comedian Amy Poehler. Lesser-known personalities are also airing new programming on the site.

YouTube's professional push marks a major shift for a company that has historically relied solely upon user-generated videos to build its business. That user-generated content is not going away, of course, but YouTube has been looking for a new way to generate more cash. Original programming might just be the ticket.

Despite that, the user-generated videos are what draw more and more people to the service. Back in January, YouTube announced that people around the world were watching 4 billion videos on its site each day. That was up from 3 billion in May 2011.