BBC jumps into bed with YouTube

March 3, 2007

A success story for YouTube this week following on from all the takedown requests and lack of commitment from some major US media companies.

The BBC has signed a deal with YouTube to bring specially commissioned content and news clips to the video site. The director general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, said the deal is a ground-breaking partnership between the BBC and YouTube and “fantastic news for our audiences”. He added in a statement: “It’s essential that the BBC embraces new ways of reaching wider audiences with non-exclusive partnerships such as these.”

The main BBC channel on YouTube will include news clips along with short-form promotional content linked to popular programmes such as Doctor Who. Video diaries by stars of the shows – including tours of the sets – will also appear. The BBC Worldwide entertainment channel will show clips from shows such as Top Gear and Spooks, along with factual programmes and a “limited amount of advertising”. BBC World will offer around 30 news clips per day to users outside of the UK and will also be funded through advertising.

YouTube has also announced 1000’s of deals with small content owners.

Viacom, Fox and NBC however are still staying away. Viacom claims that traffic to it’s websites has risen sharply since they had the content and clips pulled down from YouTube (they obviously don’t understand the point of cross promotion!). A deal with CBS has also failed to appear, it’s all gone very quiet from both camps on this subject.

Ultimately, I’m sure they all really want to get a deal done, it seems YouTube need to come up with a better offering for these media behemoths in order to hook them into their service.

The BBC’s foray into YouTube is said to be advertising funded, perhaps that funding is not enough for the large US media companies? Or maybe they are just waiting for some proper copyright protection to come into force?

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