With the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu over the last few years, we've seen a huge growth in the amount of television that is genre-based. Some shows that might never have gotten a chance on a network have thrived, with The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu and The Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime being only two examples. Going by recent events, YouTube Premium could become the next big player in genre entertainment.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, YouTube will be adding 50 original shows to its lineup in 2019. The new lineup was recently front and center and the Edinburgh TV Festival, with the Tom Felton/Natalia Tena sci-fi show Origin at the head of the pack.
The YouTube Premium service (not to be confused with the good ol' regular, free YouTube) launched in 2016, and according to their head of originals EMEA, Luke Hyams, they have barely begun to fight. As he said at the event, "We’ve had more than 65 shows and movies since it launched at the end of 2016, and we’ve got 50 shows releasing in 2019.”
Why would this be of interest to genre audiences? For one thing, they are really leaning hard on Origin, which is a sci-fi story featuring two genre veterans. For another, YouTube Premium might be in a position to take chances on smaller, more low-budget genre fare... programs that other networks and streamers might pass on.
According to Hyams, their "shopping list" for scripted programs would include "personality-driven, authored pieces with the potential for international appeal… shows with central characters, following one person’s narrative." That certainly has genre potential written all over it, from smaller, more intimate sci-fi stories to horror to fantasy. You don't need the huge budgets of HBO's Game of Thrones to tell a good story, and this could be a great place to do just that.
It's not clear what niche this fairly young service will latch onto, but with 50 shows being added this year (and presumably many more in the years to come), there is a high likelihood that spaceships, vampires, and wizards might pop up in at least a few of them. If they're all in the same show, so much the better.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)