According to a recent report in the New York Post, late night talk show host Conan O’Brien could be taking his show streaming.
Google has been trying to build a portfolio of content for their YouTube Red premium service, and they’re reportedly approached O’Brien about working together. Given that he’s the longest running late night talk show host with a stronghold in a coveted demographic, it makes sense.
It also makes sense when you consider that O’Brien is in the last year of his contract with TBS (in which he makes $12 million a year), and sources are saying he’s looking for avenues to further his digital success. Incredibly popular in the young male demographic, he already has a substantial online following, with nearly 5 million YouTube subscribers.
As far as the status of his current TV show, ratings on TBS never really developed into what they were on NBC, and they’ve even been on the decline (so much so that TBS is considering making the format a one hour weekly show instead of the current nightly format). Of course, you’ve got to consider that almost all late night formats were down in actual ratings last year, with so many of the shows posting their funniest bits online the next morning.
For now, sources are saying that O’Brien will likely renew his contract with TBS. But there’s no contract in place yet, so options are still available. Even the fact that Google even sought the comedian shows though that they may have ultimate plans to go head to head with Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming companies available today.