YouTube Mulls Linear Channel

Las Vegas -- Google's YouTube video-sharing site has been "noodling" over the idea of creating a linear TV channel comprised of content culled from the thousands of clips posted on its site, YouTube vice president of content Kevin Donahue said.

Donahue, speaking on the "Hollywood and the Digital Consumer" panel here Monday at the International Consumer Electronics Show, said YouTube has been toying with the idea of generating conventional-form TV programs -- or even a linear channel -- but he added that it's not currently a priority.

"We’re noodling on it," he said. "We haven't gone down a specific road yet. We’ve had a lot of conversations with networks that want us to do shows, companies that want us to do linear YouTube channels … We’re more in strategy phase right now."

For now, YouTube is focusing on improving the user experience on its Web site as the top priority and with wireless as a second thrust, Donahue said. For example, YouTube in November announced a licensing deal with Verizon Wireless, which will be YouTube's exclusive U.S. mobile distributor for a limited period of time.

"It made sense for us to focus on [wireless] early on -- a large part of our audience is active cell-phone users," Donahue said. "We also felt that because we’re focused on short-form programming, it made sense to deliver that to wireless devices."