Google Inc's YouTube is in talks to buy video producer Next New Networks, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
Privately held Next New Networks is best known as the producer of Web comedy shows like Barely Political and online cartoon network Channel Fredarator.
YouTube is said to be interested in Next's video development and partnership service for smaller video producers to help improve the quality of content on YouTube's dominant Web video site. The company could consider closing down Next New's studios and invest more in development of partner videos, the person said.
The goal for YouTube is to drive more views of its videos which, in a fast evolving Web content space, needs to offer higher quality to compete for eyeballs with professional offerings from the likes of Hulu, Netflix Inc and various broadcasters.
Google has faced increased pressure from investors concerned that YouTube was not contributing to the company's bottom line despite its domination of the online video space.
The search giant is expected to pay tens of millions of dollars for the company and a deal may announced next week, according to the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Richard Chang)