You don't need $100 million, you can produce your own YT channel right now.
The thing about YT is that it draws on the collective creativity of a huge mass of people and offers a way to sort through that mass of stuff to find exactly what the individual wants.
YT could stand to improve their sorting mechanisms; right now, I mainly find stuff by word of mouth, which is far too clumsy. I should be able to discover stuff I like within YT itself, yet I'm continually frustrated in my attempts to do that. (Can someone tell me how I can inform YT once and for all that I will never
be interested in Justin Beiber or Lady Gaga?)
To short-circuit YT's development process and pay people to develop content is just recreating what traditional TV already does, only cheaper and crappier. Yeah, there's probably a market for that, but it's regressing, not moving forward.
It's not really solving the core problem of how to turn YT's system into a profit-making machine. YT needs to find a way to link paying advertisers to user-generated content. They're just evading the issue with pro content.
Possibly, the pro content initiative is tactical - a way of establishing relationships with premium advertisers and giving YT some credibility. But I don't think premium advertisers (the national brands - Ford, Geico, Burger King, et al) are their natural customer.
Instead, they should follow the lead of their parent company. AdSense works by tapping into the huge network of smaller advertisers who will never have a budget like Ford to do TV advertising with.
AdSense gives them a way of associating their companies with search. Now YT can potentially do the same with information, entertainment, and a like-minded community of people. (Note how I didn't say "video" - there's no reason YT needs to stop with video content or define themselves in such limited terms. Why couldn't they compete with Zynga in online social gaming, for instance?)
So if you want to make $$$ off YT's business, figure out a way to solve the problem that YT is dancing around. Who are the networks of smaller advertisers all over the country (or the world in some cases) that could be corralled into a system that can efficiently pair them with content that attracts the audience they want?
It's really about building up fan communities on YT that are associated with paying advertisers. The way Chuck
fandom latched onto Subway is a good example - the product placement became ever more crass, and that was actually part of the joke. It didn't cause a backlash on Subway. Instead, they just seemed cooler by being in on the joke.
But Subway is one of those big national advertisers, and traditional TV is already shaped to serve their interest. YT would be foolish to compete with a mature business. The way to extend this to YT is to figure out how some little mom & pop deli can get the same benefit that Subway did.
There are thousands all cross the country, and individually they can't afford TV advertising. Let's assume that they're at least as savvy as an AdSense advertiser - they understand the internet and they how to use a computer. Maybe they already are AdSense advertisers, that would simplify contacting them. How can they be efficiently paired up with content generators in a way that bolsters their brand and business, and creates a community online?