Are you ready for YouTube cable TV?

WSJ reported on Oct 4th that YouTube is finalizing deals with creators to produce exclusive content. From Tony Hawk to companies that produce content for TV channels including RTL, which creates the show “The X Factor” will be coming aboard.

What does this mean for YouTube and advertisers? For the most part marketers have remained hesitant to advertise against content that is not professional. And moreover, they are still unsure of the impact and awareness.

YouTube has been however, working hard to make measuring partner channels more standardized. Last month it announced the partnership with comScore to help develop tools to deliver metrics that enable advertisers to justify ROI.

In essence, it laid the stake in the ground toward solidifying its position as a cable provider and network. The next step, YouTube announced Google AdWords for video to enable advertisers to bid and target self-serve ads on YouTube. It literally has put the control in the hands of marketers, both big and small.

And now, with the content strategy in place it is hoping the exclusive super premium content will attract viewers and advertisers alike. An eMarketer report, Marketing to the Online Video Audience from 2009 shows that online viewers are willing to accept ads for free content, although paradoxically they state their dislike for ads especially online. And data shows people watch and recall video ads placed next to engaging content. The lack of metrics has been a hurdle as well, but now with comScore as a third-party tool YouTube can offer more robust data.

As Internet TV and OTT (Over The Top) content distribution becomes more mainstream advertisers will find reach and frequency similar to the TV we know. It will also deliver addressable and targeted advertising. Addressable advertising will help tailor ads based on behavior and targeting will ensure the right set of audience. Engagement such as video completion rates and social sharing will provide assessment on audience satisfaction.

Furthermore, integration of Google+ hangout provides a platform for social TV. And soon, perhaps as with Twitter we may be able to get analysis on Influencers. The onus will also be upon the creators to attract audience through content and advertising strategy as it with TV networks today.

With all this in place, what is there not for YouTube to challenge traditional TV and online platforms such as Hulu?