Despite finding some success with hit shows like Cobra Kai, YouTube could never quite crack the traditional subscription streaming game and has always seemed to function better as a place for ad-supported short-form content. However, that isn’t stopping the company from trying to put out some original content so as to entice more users to its platform, with some pretty big names being attached to a new series.
Will Smith, Alicia Keys, and even basketball superstar LeBron James are involved in some of YouTube’s next big shows. For Smith, it will mark his second collaboration with YouTube and will see him star in a new six-part reality series about fitness and “returning his body into the best shape of his life.”
Smith typically stars in big budget movies, but seeing him move being a box office superstar to being a regular dude is something that we can all relate to. After all, who doesn’t want to shed those unwanted lockdown kilograms that we put on from spending too much time at home? Pity we won’t have Smith’s access to Hollywood’s best trainers and nutrionists though.
Keeping up with the documentary nature of its new content, YouTube will also be broadcasting a four-part series going behind the scenes as Alicia Keys records a new album, will also have the exclusive rights to Liza Koshy’s Liza on Demand, a new special focused on Asian American chefs, celebrities, activists, and creators, which LeBron James is an executive producer of. There will also be a new special called Barbershop Medicine that explores the intersection of race and socioeconomic status that came out of the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund that was announced last year.
YouTube has been fast losing ground to the bigger streaming services and while it’s nice to see it invest in some new original content with big stars, I am not so sure how popular these shows might prove to be. Especially when you really just end up watching annoying adverts that pop up every few minutes. I get that these adverts help YouTube to create revenue, provide creators with income, and keep the platform free for the rest of us, but those repetitve ads are the real deterrent that stops people from watching YouTube for an extended period of time and the company may need to rethink the aggressiveness of this policy if it wants to attract more viewers.
Last Updated: May 10, 2021