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YouTube partners with Kevin Hart, Ellen DeGeneres for original series

Key Points
  • YouTube adds seven new series in a move to get more TV ad dollars, including shows from Kevin Hart, Ellen DeGeneres and Demi Lovato.
  • CEO Susan Wojcicki apologized for ads running against inappropriate content, saying it will do better to prevent it from happening.
Susan Wojcicki, chief executive officer of YouTube.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Kevin Hart and YouTube will partner on a new series called "Kevin Hart: What The Fit," another way the Google-owned platform is trying to prove it deserves advertising dollars earmarked for television.

YouTube announced seven ad-supported exclusive shows at Brandcast in New York on Thursday, its annual presentation where it showcases content for advertisers. Other new shows include a talent competition called "Best Cover Ever" produced by Ryan Seacrest, shows from Ellen DeGeneres and Demi Lovato and a Katy Perry live special. In addition, Rhett and Link and the Slow Mo Guys — who got their start on YouTube — will get a series.

Hart also announced he would be working on a new streaming network called "Laugh Out Loud," featuring multicultural comedians. No additional details were revealed.

YouTube already has exclusive content on its platform from creators, as well as original new shows and movies on its YouTube Red subscription service. It will have about 40 new original shows through that service this year. It also debuted YouTube TV in April, a live TV service that does not require a cable or satellite subscriptions.

More 18-to-49-year-olds visit YouTube on mobile than view any TV network, CEO Susan Wojcicki said at the event.

But some advertisers have said YouTube isn't the same as television, especially because ads are placed based on user interest not against set programming. In March, a report from the Times of London showed ads from several high profile brands were running next to neo-Nazi and jihadist content on YouTube and on sites whose ads were placed by Google-owned platforms.

"We apologize for letting some of you down," Wojcicki said. "I'm here to say that we can and we will do better."

The company is adding new technology, offering brands new controls and working with third-party sources like comScore and Integral Ad Science to prevent such incidents from happening again.