YouTube will offer a halftime show during the Super Bowl featuring some of its biggest online stars, part of a broader initiative to promote advertisements on the Google-owned video site.
Harley Morenstein, the ringleader of food stunt group EpicMealTime, will host the program featuring musical performances and stunts, while others will produce fake Super Bowl ads. The show will stream live on YouTube during the game, the year’s most-watched television event, airing Feb. 1 on NBC.
YouTube believes the growing profile of online stars like Freddie Wong, whose main channel has more than 7.4 million subscribers, and Toby Turner will help them vie for attention with Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz, NBC’s halftime performers. More than 60 million people subscribe to the channels of the participating YouTube creators, some of whom YouTube has been promoting on billboards in major U.S. cities.
“It’s a really good place to showcase our celebrities, our talent and our creators,” Suzie Reider, managing director of brand solutions at Google, said in an interview. “It will be fun afterwards to see what was Freddie Wong’s draw compared to Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz.”
YouTube will produce the program with Collective Digital Studio, a Los Angeles online video network that features many of the online stars. Ms. Reider described the show as counter- programming to what will be on TV, designed to appeal to viewers who care more about the ads than the game.