YouTube continues to ramp up its original video efforts. On Wednesday the company announced that it has ordered 10 episodes of a new science fiction series, “Origin,” from the producers of the Netflix drama “The Crown.”
“Origin” is about a group of strangers stranded on a spacecraft traveling to a distant planet. The series will debut in 2018 on YouTube’s “Red” premium subscription service.
YouTube also announced that its unscripted series “Best.Cover.Ever” would launch worldwide on Nov. 20. The series is a singing competition show in which aspiring singers compete for a chance to perform a duet with their idols. Rapper Ludacris will host, with Katy Perry, Keith Urban and the Backstreet Boys all set to appear in future episodes. “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest is the executive producer.
“Best.Cover.Ever” will run on YouTube’s free ad-supported service, with Johnson & Johnson as the exclusive sponsor. Some of the company’s brands will be integrated into the series.
YouTube has been building out content on both its ad-free “Red” service and its free-to-view originals platform over the past year. The free originals can serve as a gateway to the subscription product, which removes advertising from all YouTube videos in addition to offering original series of its own.
YouTube launched its original programming efforts with YouTube creators like Rhett & Link, Logan Paul and The Fine Brothers, but has since expanded to include more professionally produced content. For example, both “Origins” and “Best.Cover.Ever” come from production companies with a track record of producing TV shows and movies for both traditional and streaming platforms.