BATH, England (BRAIN) — Cycling communications company SHIFT Active Media is taking the lead in establishing a new official YouTube channel devoted to cycling.
SHIFT will curate and manage the Global Cycling Network, which will launch Jan. 1. The channel will give cycling enthusiasts — and cycling content producers — a single destination within the sprawling YouTube universe, said Simon Wear, SHIFT's founder.
While anyone can set up a channel on YouTube (Here's Bicycle Retailer's!), GCN is an official original channel funded by YouTube's owner, Google, Wear said.
"Google has an extraordinary community that it's been building the last five or six years years on the YouTube platform. There are 800 million people on the platform, and it has 13 percent of all the Internet in terms of bandwith. So it's grown rapidly over that period and they have an enormous amount of content of various quality," said Wear, who is a former chief operating officer of Future UK, the publisher of CyclingNews.com and other online and print cycling titles.
SHIFT will be responsible for populating the channel with original video content as well as curated content from various video producers, including bike manufacturers and marketers, events, individuals and media companies. The content will be wrapped in Google's regular ads; SHIFT is not responsible for selling the ads around the content.
SHIFT represents several cycling brands, including Colnago, Santini, 3T and Wiggle. SHIFT also produces video for several cycling clients. In this case, Wear said, Google is its client.
"We have specific skills in creating cycling video content, and in this case Google said, 'We are going to pay you to develop original cycling content for YouTube,' " Wear said. "The whole point of what we want to do is basically help the cycling community get great momentum on the YouTube platform. We want to work with brands, teams, retailers, advertisers — you name it, we want to work with everybody."
YouTube has recently launched a variety of original channels in many subject areas. Wear noted that the list of sports channels is fairly compact. "The really encouraging thing is that the guys at YouTube have identified cycling as a good sport to get behind. They are not doing 100 sports," he said.
The channel will focus on road riding to start and will feature a mix of action and how-to videos. "We're looking to highlight things of real interest. If there is a great piece on VeloNews on cyclocross, we might feaure that. Or it might be actually that a small recumbent maker makes a video that is of interest. A big part of this is going to be driven by the community and the cyclists who engage with the channel."