BBC makes deal with YouTube


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May 24, 2005
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BBC makes deal with YouTube

The BBC has confirmed a deal with YouTube to make programming available via a number of branded channels, including supplying an ad-funded BBC News clips service.

The multi-year deal, first revealed by in January, will see two separate BBC-branded entertainment channels created to showcase clips and exclusive content from the BBC and BBC Worldwide, as well as a dedicated channel for BBC News clips supplied by BBC World.

Both the BBC News and BBC Worldwide branded pages will run with limited advertising.

The advertising-funded clips will not be available to view by UK users.
David Moody, the director of strategy for BBC Worldwide, said that the new ad-funded BBC News deal with YouTube did not undermine the process of the BBC Trust - which has deferred the decision on whether or not to allow advertising on its international website until later this spring.

"This deal is absolutely no different to what BBC World has offered for years, we have deals to offer clips on websites such as Yahoo!," said Mr Moody.

"This does not undermine the BBC Trust, we have long had a syndication channel for news, this is business as usual. The proposal continues."

Ashley Highfield, the director of future media and technology at the BBC, added: " is a BBC-branded portal and that is where the fundamental difference arises, BBC Worldwide has been syndicating its content for a long time."

The BBC-branded YouTube channel will offer clips of new shows and specially commissioned promotional material for shows including Doctor Who and Life on Mars.

Stars such as David Tennant will create video diaries taking viewers behind the scenes.

The BBC Worldwide channel will show clips from Top Gear, Spooks and the Catherine Tate Show, as well as factual programmes such as those presented by David Attenborough.

Users will be able to comment on clips, rate them, recommend them to friends and even post their own video responses.

The idea is that, subject to the conclusion of the public value test, the content on the branded BBC pages will drive users through to the commercial and non-commercial versions of the iPlayer.

"Our digital strategy is to make our content as widely distributed as possible and there is an audience of millions on YouTube," said Mr Moody.

"This is a chance to showcase our programming, get feedback and hopefully encourage people to click through to other services such as BBC America or the commercial iPlayer."

In terms of how much and what types of advertising would be run around the commercial BBC content, Chris Maxey, the partnership development director at YouTube, said that "no pre-determined line" had been drawn.

"We are interested in testing out this new medium. It is new for all of us and we have to see what the community likes or accepts in terms of advertising and what works for such a new medium."

At launch, the BBC-branded pages will only run with standard banners, however Patrick Walker, the head of video partnerships for Google EMEA, said that other forms of advertising would be introduced over time.

Mr Moody qualified this by saying that ads around BBC content would be governed by a comprehensive set of guidelines.

"We have clearly discussed ads around BBC content to protect our brand. We will take into account taste, decency and editorial policy."

Google-owned YouTube has fallen foul of many major media companies - most recently Viacom ordered the removal of 100,000 clips from the website - who are concerned about the large amount of copyrighted content being shared by users.

Mr Moody said the BBC had asked YouTube to take down BBC content in the past, and would again in the future "if it was necessary".

"The BBC takes intellectual property rights infringement seriously and would look at any issue on a case-by-case basis."

By the end of the day today it is expected that 30 clips of BBC content will be available to view, and 75 clips of BBC Worldwide content.

Mark Sweney
Friday March 2, 2007
Guardian Unlimited
Guardian News and Media Limited 2007