Garden designer and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith will host one of YouTube’s new channels to be unveiled this month as a massive, global effort by Google (NSDQ:GOOG) to produce thousands of hours of exclusive premium content. Google announced on Friday that it is partnering with dozens of media companies, Hollywood production companies and online video creators to generate about 25 hours of new, original programming per day on YouTube. Smith’s new “eHow Home” channel will be one of the lifestyle channels.
Industry analysts are calling the YouTube announcement a challenge to the television industry and a jump toward “quality entertainment” on any screen – laptop, phone, tablet, desktop and TV.
P. Allen Smith will provide content for the new eHow Home channel, which will feature home and garden tips from Smith, who is host of the popular public television programs, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home and P. Allen Smith's Garden to Table and the syndicated 30-minute show P. Allen Smith Gardens. Smith is also author of the best-selling Garden Home series of books and is a regular contributor to NBC’s The Today Show and The Weather Channel.
The channel will focus largely on a new house and garden that Smith will be building at his Moss Mountain Farm, home to the taping of both the PBS and syndicated shows. The home will be small and affordable and designed in the vernacular style typical of the 1830s. While traditional in style, it will be built with sustainable building methods, technologies, products, and with energy conservation in mind. The eHowHome channel will begin streaming content in January.
“We can’t wait to begin reaching an even broader audience through the eHow Home YouTube Channel,” Smith said. “It is extremely exciting to be joining the caliber of content providers that Google has brought on to this project. We are ready for the challenge and to bring our experience, knowledge and passion of home and garden to viewers around the world.”
Demand Media (NYSE: DMD), based in Santa Monica, Calif., owns and manages the eHow Home Channel, partnering with P. Allen Smith to provide content. Content for the new channel will be filmed in Arkansas, with the majority of filming taking place at Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm, outside of Little Rock.
“More than five years ago, Demand Media embraced the YouTube platform – and in the process has become a top 5 network on YouTube,” said Steven Kydd, Executive Vice President of Studios at Demand Media. “When we started reviewing talent for the eHow Home Channel, we viewed P. Allen Smith as the type of talent who brings authoritative, helpful and entertaining home & garden programming to our channel. Allen and his team are creative, innovative and committed to helping consumers unify the home and garden.”
Smith will join a wide range of content providers, including Hollywood celebrities (Madonna, Jay-Z, Ashton Kutcher), major media outlets (Wall Street Journal, Thomson Reuters, Hearst Magazines), athletes (Shaquille O’Neal) and YouTube “sensations” (MyDamnChannel.com and Maker Studios, home to many YouTube stars).
Online video advertising is the fastest-growing ad category online, and Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente projects it will grow 43 percent in 2011 to $2 billion. According to a Nov. 1, 2011, article by The Hollywood Reporter, DiClemente said, “We believe YouTube accounts for the lion's share of these ad dollars with $1.6 billion in 2011. YouTube is uniquely positioned here as it is by far the most watched online video property with 161 million unique viewers in September.”
For a full list of the new YouTube channels, click here.