Some analysts believe Google paid too much for YouTube when the search giant acquired the video sharing portal in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Whether or not Google overvalued the site ultimately remains to be seen, but in the meantime, the sultan of search is dipping into its treasure chest and will pour another $100 million into YouTube to fund low-cost original content designed exclusively for the Web.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is working to overhaul YouTube in preparation for a new generation of televisions that let couch potatoes surf the Web from their recliner in their living rooms. Ultimately, Google hopes YouTube will be able to compete with broadcast and cable television, an ambitious goal that also involves selling advertisers on the idea.
As part of this plan, you'll see certain changes to YouTube's homepage, most notably the highlighting of "channels" based on certain categories, like sports. Some 20 of those channels will include hours of professionally produced programming each week, while other channels will consist of content already uploaded to YouTube.
YouTube isn't quite ready to talk about Google's $100 million gamble, with a spokesman only saying, "YouTube saw incredible growth in 2010 and we're excited about the future."