How are YouTube's channels performing?

Despite the promise of big-name stars, the paid hub launched with a series of lesser-known actors, indie filmmakers, girls in bikinis and other oddities.

By Benzinga May 20, 2013 2:17PM
Couple with laptop copyright Daly and Newton, OJO Images, Getty ImagesBy Louis Bedigian

On May 9, Google (GOOG) made its first attempt to persuade consumers to pay for content on YouTube.


Despite the promise of big-name stars and high-end content, YouTube did not launch its paid channels hub with the likes of Ashton Kutcher or Sofia Vergara, both of whom were expected to be on board.


AwesomenessTV, the popular teen and tween channel that was acquired by DreamWorks Animation (DWA), was also absent from the list.


Instead, YouTube's paid hub launched with a series of lesser-known stars, indie filmmakers, girls in bikinis and other oddities.


To see if YouTube's effort has paid off, Benzinga dove into 15 of the site's paid channels (and regretted every minute of it).


Acorn TV

Most Popular Paid Video: Midsomer Murders Set 21 Episode 1: Death in the Slow Lane (103 views)

Main Page Video Views: 9,426

Acorn TV claims to provide full episodes of "THE BEST BRITISH TV" -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Baby First PLUS

Most Popular Paid Video: VocabuLARRY (116 views)

Main Page Video Views: 2,067

Baby First PLUS is an educational video channel that aims to make learning fun for toddlers. Believe it or not, their free videos have not performed much better than those that users have to pay for.


Big Think Mentor

Most Popular Paid Video: Overcome Obstacles (695 views)

Main Page Video Views: 9,330

Big Think Mentor "connects world-class mentors like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Maria Konnikova, and Tim Ferriss with a global community of smart, driven users to teach the habits of mind and people skills we all need to live happier, healthier, more productive lives."


BIGSTAR Movies

Most Popular Paid Video: N/A (This channel only publishes the total views for its free trailers -- the most popular has received 355 views.)

Main Page Video Views: 12,126

BIGSTAR Movies does not have the big stars that the name implies, but its indie flicks don't look much worse than Hulu's selection.


Cars.TV

Most Popular Paid Video: Pure Vision - Anvil Mustang (334 views)

Main Page Video Views: 1,704

Cars.TV had hoped to capitalize on the "adrenaline-pumping" action of automobile videos. Thus far, viewers do not seem to be overly enthused.


Comedy.tv

Most Popular Paid Video: Comics Unleashed featuring David Brenner, others (187 views)

Main Page Video Views: 301 views

Comedy.tv might provide some laughs, but with thousands of great (and free) videos available from ComedyCentral.com and other sites, this video channel might have a hard time gaining subscribes.


Corman's Drive-In

Most Popular Paid Video: Unknown

Main Page Video Views: 1,881

Corman's Drive-In is not officially live yet (only a compilation trailer has been published), but it promises to offer more than 400 movies when it launches this summer.


CubaPlay T.V.

Most Popular Paid Video: Un Amigo Inesperado (26 views)

Main Page Video Views: 2,317

According to a Google translation of this channel's description, CubaPlay T.V. offers the "first and only channel to offer the best variety of Cuban programming, free from political influence."


DHX Junior TV USA

Most Popular Paid Video: The Doodlebops 101 - Jumpin' Judy (111 views)

Main Page Video Views: 1,638

DHX Junior TV USA invites its viewers to "come play with us!" Thus far, very few have accepted the invitation.


DHX Kids TV USA

Most Popular Paid Video: Mudpit 101 (232 views)

Main Page Video Views: 2,011

DHX Kids TV USA is the channel for slightly older children, featuring the likes of Mudpit, Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century and Sabrina the Animated Series.


DHX Retro TV USA

Most Popular Paid Video: Inspector Gadget 101 (927 views)

Main Page Video Views: 2,764

DHX Retro TV USA continues the "DHX" brand with a channel aimed at rehashing old cartoon classics, including Inspector Gadget, Super Mario Bros. and the original Sonic the Hedgehog series.


Digital Theater

Most Popular Paid Video: Unknown (Only the views for free trailers are published.)

Main Page Video Views: 25,900

Digital Theater is one of the more popular paid channels, but it has a long way to go before it can compete against the likes of Hulu.


DocuPix

Most Popular Paid Video: Labranza Oculta (8 views)

Main Page Video Views: 1,384

According to a Google translation of the site's description, DocuPix is "the destination for the best documentaries from around the world and 100% in Spanish."


Docurama

Most Popular Paid Video: Unlisted

Main Page Video Views: Unlisted

Docurama claims to be a paid channel with a monthly fee of $2.99, but all of the videos seem to be offered on a free or pay-as-you-go basis.


ES.TV

Most Popular Paid Video: Unlisted

Main Page Video Views: 1,877

Can't get enough celebrity interviews from sources that don't charge a dime? ES.TV has the solution.


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