YouTube, DreamWorks Animation to Co-Produce Daily ‘YouTube Nation’ Series

/ Aug 28, 2013


YouTube and DreamWorks Animation are deep in development on a new daily web series called “YouTube Nation,” which could represent YouTube’s first traditional production deal.

Industry sources suggest to VideoInk that “YouTube Nation,” which will cover everything from trending videos to pop culture stories, current events, and political issues, as well as online personalities who are on the rise, is a “very big deal” for YouTube. This is because we are told that “YouTube Nation” is closer to a co-production relationship than anything YouTube has been involved with to date.

One source went as far as to say this is a “pet project” for YouTube content chief Robert Kyncl and DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. Kyncl, if you remember, was the man who introduced Katzenberg to AwesomenessTV founder Brian Robbins, paving the way for DreamWorks to acquire the teen-focused YouTube network in late April (and just in time for a big announcement at YouTube’s Brandcast).*

Up until now, YouTube, through its grant and partner programs, has focused on providing funding or production support to creators on the site. In both cases, the company has chosen to be hands-off when it comes to the actual production of content. With “YouTube Nation,” the company is said to be putting all of its resources behind the show, including opening up access to enterprise-level data (in a way that no current partner has), in addition to actively developing the show and offering access to Space LA. And while not confirmed, it’s also likely that a high-profile project like this will receive an abundance of marketing support.

YouTube and DreamWorks are currently testing out different formats at YouTube Space LA and have been casting a wide net to audition web- and video-savvy personalities for the hosting gig. Some of the requirements for the host include having a “significant online presence” and “an active social media following,” though the producers are not looking for “red carpet, TV entertainment-style hosts,” per directions in the casting call materials. As far as we know, no host has been selected yet. It’s also not clear if the producers are looking for multiple hosts/personalities.

So far, we are unable to confirm as to whether the show will be live or on-demand. According to multiple sources with knowledge of the plans, “YouTube Nation” will air five days a week. It is billed by some as a “Daily Show” for the web video generation with a heavy focus on curation. The hope is to launch the show later this year — one source claims it will be in November, while casting call materials disclosed to us indicate a fall premiere.

The development of “YouTube Nation” leads to some obvious questions about what this means for other creators producing similar formats on the site — creators/channels like Ray William Johnson, SourceFed, and What’s Trending. “YouTube Nation,” as it’s currently imagined, would be a major competitor. To be fair, some of these creators already have a well-established audience as well as content partnerships that exist beyond the YouTube platform. So “YouTube Nation” is not necessarily the death sentence that some might perceive it to be. But if YouTube is indeed looking to expand beyond its current role as a financier of content, then it has the potential to quickly become the biggest kid on the block across various content types.

Here’s something else: If YouTube decides to produce more content beyond “YouTube Nation,” and bring in YouTube stars to host and/or make that content, then those off-YouTube strategies MCNs are consistently talking about will require a greater sense of urgency.

YouTube declined to comment for this story.

* AwesomenessTV is not involved with this project, it appears to be strictly a DreamWorks or DreamWorks/YouTube production.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

  • Ivan Juresic

    This seems pretty ambitious and I’m quite curious to see what path YouTube takes with this type of content. But remember that just because a few big brands or celebrities are getting behind an online video project doesn’t mean it’ll be an instant hit. YouTube’s original channel initiative was proof of this

  • Hazza Jay

    This is great news for YouTube’s future. The fact that Dreamworks want to keep collaborating with YouTube proves that they are seeing and enjoying the results from their initial collaboration with AwesomenessTV. Hopefully they utilize YouTubers such as Jesse Wellens and Shay Carl etc rather than celebrities. Celebrities suck on YouTube, they’re only there to ask the question ‘what’s in it for me?’ Jenna Marbles would be an awesome host in my opinion.


5 Emerging Book Channels


How Is Online Video Like Game of Thrones? Evolve Media

CraveOnline Bets on Manly Men with LiveOutdoors Revamp

Kin Community

Web Series Wednesday: 5 Shows From Kin Community

Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!

Kaltura Helps MotorTrend Go SVOD


Why Google, Disney and Verizon Are Teaming Up to Bring...

Logan Paul The Thinning Legendary Digital Entertainment

Viner Logan Paul Mounting Multi-City Black Friday Promo Tour for...


How YuppTV is Cornering the Expat Streaming Market


National Geographic Rolls Out First Slate of Digital Originals


HorseLifestyle Opens Stable of Streaming Content for Equine Obsessives

Snapchat 2

How Snapchat is Helping Users Discover New Perspectives With...

John Boswell Melodysheep

YouTube Mashup Artist Melodysheep Signs with WME

Kurt Hugo Schneider

Sony Music Orders Kurt Hugo Schneider YouTube Series

Ours to Lose #OursToLose YouTube

How YouTube is Fighting Climate Change with #OursToLose

AT&T A+E Networks

AT+T and A+E Sign Multi-Year Pact for Linear TV, VOD, Mobile and...

Fusion debuting new series on Snapchat Discover

How Snapchat Is Courting Advertisers With Audience Targetting

New York Times Logo

Four Months After Shake-up, New York Times Names a New Video Chief

vox mediaaaaa

Vox Teams Up with Snapchat Discover


Why Otter Media Is Pumping $22 Million Into Crunchyroll


5 Emerging Unboxing Channels

Dunkin Donuts Cakeworks Branded Video

What Makes Branded Video Great?


How Jukin Media’s Wire Helps Users Find Viral Videos...

Elliott Morgan

Vimeo Grabs Another Comedy Special from Elliot Morgan and Supergravity

Machinima Logo

Machinima Hires Don Reilley to Head Brand Partnerships, Preps...

Family Fun Pack Collective Digital Studio CDS

Collective Digital Studio Orders Family Fun Pack YouTube Channel


Nickelodeon’s Noggin Chases Preschool Viewers with New...

Cameron Dallas

Cameron Dallas Signs with Brillstein Entertainment Partners


YouTube Pledges Legal Support for Creators’ Fair Use Claims

Cinedigm Logo

Cinedigm Takes Majority Stake in ConTV

Amazon Studios

Amazon Removes Option Clause as it Unveils Free Cloud-Based...


Why Hollywood is Investing In Tubi TV

Awesomeness Films

Awesomeness Films and Jurassic Party Sign First-Look Deal


Web Series Wednesday: Five Shows From All Def Digital


Vimeo’s Content Chief Greg Clayman to Exit By Year’s End


As Western Streaming Content Booms, China Cracks Down On Set-Top Apps

John Malkin Ovation

Ovation TV Taps John Malkin to Head Cross-Platform Content Strategy

Here's how musicians should use facebook

How To Increase Video Completion on Facebook [Study]

Logan Paul The Thinning Legendary Digital Entertainment

Legendary Digital Acquires Young Adult Thriller ‘The...


Sky Creates Satellite/Digital Hybrid Sky Q

Chelsea Handler Netflix

Chelsea Handler’s Netflix Doc Series Gets January Premiere Date