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Google's YouTube investing in its own stars

As competition in online video heats up, Google's video service wants to make sure its most popular performers stay put.

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YouTube is investing in its biggest stars, in an attempt to make them stay on the platform. Getty Images

In an effort to prevent YouTube talent from defecting to competing online video services, Google announced Thursday that it has launched a new initiative to help stars on its video-sharing platform create high-quality content for the site.

"Now, we feel the time is right to make another important investment in our creators," Alex Carloss, head of YouTube original content, said in a blog post. "That's why we've decided to fund new content from some of our top creators, helping them not only fulfill their creative ambitions but also deliver new material to their millions of fans on YouTube."

The search giant is planning to invest "millions" of dollars in performers to produce various kinds of content, of different formats, and ranging in length, according to a report published Thursday by Recode. The report says that the company is also considering pairing the YouTube performers with more traditional Hollywood producers.

When reached for comment, Google pointed only to the company's blog post.

The push comes as competition heats up in the realm of online video. Facebook has reportedly been eying some of YouTube's most popular creators and is said to have tried to lure them into distributing their work on the social network instead.

Other tech giants have also made significant investments in premium video content. Yahoo has beefed up its efforts in the space with a concert deal with the live events company Live Nation and has picked up TV programming like NBC's cult favorite "Community." Yahoo has also reportedly tried to lure talent away from YouTube by offering a better advertising revenue split for performers.

This isn't the first time Google has tried to sweeten the YouTube pot for its most popular acts. Three years ago, the company invested more than $100 million to try to get performers to create their own YouTube channels.

In one example of YouTube's renewed efforts, the company has discussed pouring "single-digit millions" into a 10-part video series, according to Recode's report.

Update, September 19 at 12:45 p.m. PT: Adds Google's response to CNET's request for comment.