YouTube is a place for short videos of cats and people hurting themselves in hilarious ways. Which is fine, but it none of that is a compelling enough reason to direct your Smart TV or media streaming box there. Which is exactly why Google’s trying to transform how people see the video hosting behemoth with the help of delicious, exclusive programmes.

Ok, but… honestly… why should you care? Well, because Google’s now pumping more money into YouTube content than UK commuters currently is into flu and cold remedies.

Grazia, BBC Worldwide, Jamie Oliver, Netmums and Mixmag are among the names that’ve inked a $200 million deal with Google to provide long-form content for YouTube as part of its expanding smattering of exclusive shows.

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And it’s an interesting system. The whole system works a bit like a book deal; content producers get an advance to keep their shows exclusive to YouTube, and then the ad revenue is split into two 50/50 pots. Once one half has earned enough to pay off that advance, the content maker will start getting it as royalties. Google trousers the rest. In other words: there’s gold in them there hills.

YouTube’s global head of content, Robert Kyncl, says of the deal: “Some of the most successful formats on TV come from Europe. The expansion of original channels in Europe allows more content creators of all stripes, from top producers to talented up-and-comers, to build their audiences all over the world.”

The deal currently only stands for select partners, but we’d wager that Google will want to get as many big names on board as possible. From there, who knows? Maybe any video-maker with a certain view count could soon be getting advances for new content.

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