Megastar Demi Lovato announces new YouTube show as video platform aims to reverse downward trend in ad-supported content

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The multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated artist Demi Lovato is to launch her own documentary show, "Simply Complicated", on YouTube, in a move that the video-sharing platform hopes will help to reverse a downward trend in ad-supported content.

It's the latest in a series of original content announcements YouTube has made.

"Five years ago, 85 percent of all original series were ad supported; today that number has fallen to just over two-thirds, and with significantly more content shifting to subscription services, that shift is accelerating. We see these shows as a way for us to partner with brands and buck this trend," said Susanne Daniels, YouTube's global head of original content, announcing the new show at Cannes Lions advertising festival on Monday.

"Simply Complicated" will be sponsored by Ulta Beauty, the U.S. cosmetics company that last month announced a same-store sales increase of 14.3 percent and revenue of $1.58 billion for the latest quarter. Daniels did not disclose terms of the sponsorship.

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Lovato, who also appeared at the event, said she felt the time was right after 17 years in show business. "I feel like I'm at a pivotal point in my life and I'm turning 25, I'm in a place where I'm looking at my future and my past and I want to share this with my fans," she said.

Ad-supported content can be described as any kind of content that has advertising around it. Daniels added that more and more new series were being created without ads on online subscription services and premium cable channels, highlighting this as a reason why the company has opted for "advertising supported originals."

TV and video content providers are huge rivals, with Amazon bringing live streaming to Europe last month, threatening Sky's dominance in the pay TV market in the region.

In the U.S., Daniels claimed that YouTube can threaten the cable networks. "Because TV is programmed region by region, generating a global conversation is so much harder and often impossible. Creators are not held to timeslots, episode lengths and can adjust their content on the fly because of the feedback positive and negative is in real time," she said.

Last week, Katy Perry used YouTube's new livestreaming service to promote her new album "Witness", where cameras filmed her for 96-hours straight, which Daniels claims was viewed by 49 million people in 190 countries. YouTube has also announced original series from Ellen de Generes and Ryan Seacrest, among others.

Separately, YouTube announced Sunday it is stepping up the way it tackles extremist content on the site, in the face of broader criticism of internet companies by politicians.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Susanne Daniels was commenting on a downward trend in ad-supported content.

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