As traditional TV viewership continues to decline and billions of TV ad dollars shift towards digital media, many TV and cable networks are seeking to turn the tide by bolstering their digital audiences and viewership on YouTube. As such, CBS’s “The Late Late Show” hosted by James Corden took to the online video platform by publishing snippets of its weeknight episodes — several clips have gone “viral” including the Carpool Karaoke comedy shorts serving to not only carve out a dedicated TV viewership base for a brand new show but also to quickly build Corden’s notoriety with online audiences. Since its debut earlier this March, The Late Late Show YouTube channel has amassed close to one million subscribers and over 200 million total video views in a matter of 6 months, 70 episodes.
For their 70th episode on August 21, The Late Late Show chose to pay homage to YouTube’s 10th anniversary by filming a special edition show #LLSYouTube at YouTube Space LA, a $25 million dollar professional production facility studio for top YouTubers (with over 10K subscribers). YouTube Space LA recently hosted Arnold Schwarzenegger for the filming of “Terminator Genisys: The YouTube Chronicles,” a collaborative movie promotion with top YouTube celebrities. #LLSYouTube featured YouTubers Tyler Oakley, Jenna Marbles, Kandee Johnson, The Slow Mo Guys, and the creators of “Epic Rap Battles.”
In today’s digital environment, TV networks are recognizing the importance of creating content that goes beyond ratings. Executive editor Mathew Belloni of Hollywood Reporter notes, “[TV networks] want ratings, and they want people to watch there, but they want people to talk about the shows, and they want to be in the national conversation, and the way to do that these days is to own the internet” (CBSnews). Like many other brands or companies creating branded or sponsored content alongside top YouTube celebrities, The Late Late Show skillfully integrated each YouTuber’s niche expertise, theme, and persona into the show while continuing to retain The Late Late Show’s own branding and feel.