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DreamWorks Animation launches 'YouTube Nation'

January 15, 2014

A year ago, DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg trekked to the Bay Area headquarters of YouTube to pitch an idea to his counterpart, Salar Kamangar.

"I said to them, I love the things they are doing with YouTube in terms of building out the platform and encouraging user generated content," Katzenberg said. "But as a user, I felt the one thing that was very challenging is ... there's hundreds of hours of programming being uploaded every minute. It's inconsumable and unnavigable and, as a user, it was getting harder and harder for me to know what I should be watching."

The solution, Katzenberg suggested, was to create a show that could serve up daily highlights of the best programming on YouTube, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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"I proposed to them the idea that we create for them what would be a daily lighthouse that would be for users like myself," Katzenberg said.

The concept evolved into YouTube Nation, a new daily show produced by DreamWorks Animation that will feature some of the best and most interesting videos on the video sharing website, which attracts more than 1 billion visitors each month.

Hosted by Jacob Soboroff (formerly of HuffPost Live) and executive produced by Steve Woolf and Zadi Diaz, the program debuts Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the YouTube Spotlight page and at www.youtube.com/youtubenation.

A partnership between YouTube and DreamWorks, the series marks the first program of its kind between YouTube and a major studio. YouTube is financing the show, while DreamWorks is producing the series and will share in advertising revenue.

"It's a great way to introduce people to YouTube," said Robert Kyncl, YouTube's head of content and business operations. "It helps them make sense of great content on YouTube and gets them into a daily habit of consuming it in a way that's really digestible ... it's a fantastic idea."

A team of experienced curators at YouTube Nation will handpick the top content each day in a five-minute show that includes videos, playlists, highlights and fan feedback.

The episodes will include a vast array of content, such as the YouTube original series "Video Game High School" from filmmaker and musician Freddie Wong, amateur home videos and blogs on the latest in sports, fashion and music. The idea is to capture quirky and interesting content before it becomes the next hot trend.

In all, about 50 people are working on the production, which is based out of a studio in Playa Vista.

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