J&J leads advertisers as first named sponsor in new fall lineup of YouTube original programming

J&J logo on building
Johnson & Johnson is the first sponsor of YouTube's lineup of free original programming for the fall.

Ready for another singing talent show with Ryan Seacrest? Johnson & Johnson is. The health and wellness giant has signed on as the exclusive sponsor for YouTube’s upcoming original program called Best.Cover.Ever.

The star-studded Seacrest-produced program—singers Demi Lovato, Flo Rida and Jason Derulo are already signed on to perform—will debut this fall as a part of a lineup of original YouTube content that also includes an Ellen DeGeneres show, a Katy Perry special, and a fitness show with comedian Kevin Hart. The premise of Best.Cover.Ever is that amateur singers, selected after sending in a cover song audition video, will perform with that musical superstar on a special collaboration.

The deal for the new show came after Johnson & Johnson became the first advertiser to sign on in a Google Preferred partnership with YouTube this year. That gave J&J first-look privileges for upcoming content, the company said via email. In fact, Johnson & Johnson was among the first advertisers to find out about Best.Cover.Ever. and signed on as the exclusive sponsor within a few days.

Johnson & Johnson said it could not provide more details, such as which brands will be featured, but it added that more details will be revealed closer to the show’s airing in the fall.

Best.Cover.Ever. will air on YouTube’s regular channel for free, as opposed to the original content the platform now airs on its paid subscription services YouTube Red and YouTube TV. However, the new longer show formats and sponsorship strategy on the free service could be a win-win for both advertisers and YouTube, TheStreet notes, thanks to more time for ad breaks and sponsorship gigs and to the inclusion of A-list celebs who can help fetch higher ad prices.