Katy Perry, Charlie Puth, Kevin Hart and Ellen DeGeneres are among the latest batch of musicians and entertainers announced for YouTube’s upcoming slate of original programming, according to a blog post the video platform published today (5/4).
All the shows will be ad-supported so viewers can watch the new programs for free. In 2016, when YouTube began making premium original content for its subscription service, YouTube Red, the programs were primarily behind a paywall.
YouTube hasn’t released YouTube Red’s paid subscribtion numbers, which was reported to be roughly 1.5 million last summer. The initial slate of YouTube Red programming coincided with the hiring of MTV’s Susanne Daniels to head the platform’s original content initiative. Since then the platform has released some 30 series and movies.
The new shows, which will certainly have more exposure in front of the paywall, include a “Katy Perry Live Special” which is described as an “album listen-along” that will take viewers inside the singer’s “world…on the eve of her highly anticipated album launch.”
Singer-songwriter Charlie Puth will join “Best.Cover.Ever.,” a talent competition series announced last week featuring Ludacris as the show’s host as well as other guest artists Demi Lovato, Backstreet Boys and Jason Derulo. The show is produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions and Endemol Shine North America.
“I Am: Demi Lovato” will focus on Lovato as she reveals her “yearlong personal journey of music reinvention and deep discovery” as she undertakes writing and recording her new album.
The announcement comes just as a number of other music platforms this week announced similar original programming initiatives. Earlier this week Twitter announced a slate of original streaming content including a regular series of live concerts from Live Nation. Additionally, Apple Music announced it would exclusively distribute Sean “Puffy” Combs’ new documentary Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story which was produced in partnership with Live Nation.
Other YouTube programs include: “Ellen’s Show Me More Show,” a twice-a-week series with behind the scenes access to celebrities; “Good Mythical Morning” which features Rhett & Link, the hosts of YouTube’s most popular daily show “Good Mythical Morning;” “Kevin Hart: What the Fit,” which has Hart and celebrities attempting to master different workout routines; and “The Super Slow Show” featuring The Slow Mo Guys testing the latest in technology in slow motion.
Today’s announcement also noted that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Brands will be the first advertising partner of the new content and have signed on as the exclusive sponsor of “Best.Cover.Ever.”