COMCAST CABLE NETWORK G4 HAS partnered with online video-sharing site YouTube to promote "Star Trek 2.0," a new series targeting men ages 18-34 in which classic episodes are framed with G4's interactive content, the companies announced Tuesday.
The paid arrangement won't disrupt YouTube's basic user-controlled dynamic, in which viewers determine which videos are most popular, according to Kevin Donahue, YouTube's vice president of marketing and programming. He said that YouTube will offer clips of "Star Trek 2.0," but will integrate the promotion "in as organic a way as possible." The clips also will be accompanied by links back to G4's site.
YouTube's partnership with G4 signals the rollout of a broader commercial strategy that involves courting content companies more actively, said Donahue. "We're going to provide more tools and benefits, and things that major media companies can use--as well as independent providers," he said.
The video-sharing site first rose to prominence with a series of skirmishes with NBC, which forced YouTube to remove two viral video clips of spoof raps from "Saturday Night Live" earlier this year.
Donahue said that YouTube offered to promote "Saturday Night Live," as well as other NBC programs, on its site, but NBC declined. Still other entertainment companies, including Warner Bros. Records, Matador Records, Virgin/EMI and VH1 have approached YouTube about promotional opportunities on the site.