Full-length episodes of television shows and movies are an important part of YouTube heading forward. Which means the company must be delighted to have signed a deal with UK broadcaster Channel 4 which will see 3,000 hours of content coming to the video sharing site.
YouTube and Channel 4
YouTube has for a while now been moving away from user-generated content and trying to entice broadcasters into providing content via the site. It’s had mixed success but it has now nabbed a major broadcaster in the form of Channel 4.
Channel 4 was the first UK broadcaster to launch a video on demand service, doing so in 2006. But 4oD failed to get the attention it deserved and the BBC iPlayer snatched the limelight instead. 4oD has gone through some major changes since then and now rivals the iPlayer for user experience.
Deal or No Deal
However, Channel 4 is keen to have its programming reach a wider online audience, and so has teamed up with YouTube. A three-year deal between the two should do just that, and provide revenue as well.
For its part YouTube will gain full-length TV shows and also take a cut of the revenue. Although the financial terms of the deal have not been made public, YouTube is expected to take a 30 percent cut of all revenue generated by the Channel 4 programming.
4oD will continue to provide the premium catch-up service it does currently, but YouTube will gain 50 hours of current programming soon after it airs on Channel 4 as well as around 3,000 hours of archived programming.
This includes shows such as Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Brass Eye, Skins, Teachers, Peep Show, and the Derren Brown Specials which recently had everyone in the UK talking.
Channel 4 Speaks
Channel 4 said:
“Channel 4 was the first broadcaster anywhere in the world to make all its commissioned content available online and we’ve consistently pioneered in this field. This strategic partnership is another important milestone for us and we’re delighted to be combining the power of the ‘4’ brand and the appeal of our content with YouTube’s unrivaled reach and reputation online.”
“Making our programmes directly accessible to YouTube’s 20 million UK users will financially benefit both Channel 4 and our independent production partners and help bolster our investment in quality British content. It demonstrates our ability to strike dynamic commercial partnerships to help underpin our future as a commercially funded, not-for-profit multi-platform public service network.”
Unfortunately, this deal only applies in the UK. And although there are 20 million YouTube users in the UK it would have been nice to see the rest of the world welcomed to the party. Those international rights licensing agreements have got in the way yet again.
But in every other way this seems a great deal. Both Channel 4 and YouTube gain from it, and the real winners are viewers who now get to watch premium quality programming online, on demand, and for free.
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