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Google gives YouTube a TV-like makeover

Google has launched a new design for YouTube, offering viewers access to a range of channels and personalised recommendations as it prepares to transform itself into something more akin to a TV platform.

Visitors to the site now see a customisable choice of channels down the left side of the screen. They can immediately sign in, browse recommended channels and create a YouTube account that can then be linked to Google Plus and Facebook to see what their friends are sharing.

The overall design of the site has been simplified, based on the Cosmic Panda design unveiled in July, with a consistent grey background, video thumbnails and a more streamlined watch page.

The YouTube logo has also been changed to become more in line with other Google services.

The move comes as YouTube is preparing to deliver more original professional content produced by the likes of Madonna, Jay-Z, Ashton Kutchner and CSI creator Anthony Zuiker. YouTube is also reportedly considering a new revenue model that allows viewers to skip ads, with advertisers only paying for those video clips that are watched.