The BBC announced today that it has singed [sic] a deal with Google in regards to BBC video on YouTube. The agreement raises interesting strategic questions as it represents an important alternative approach to the high profile requests to remove content by other publishers. The BBC has made a series of high-profile announcements regarding new social media – the organization said it was remaking its website in the image of MySpace last April for example. We’ll see how much is hype and how much of this activity is smart use of new media.
The basics of the deal announced today are these:
* The BBC will create two channels on YouTube now and one more by the end of the year.
* The main channel will be advertising free promotional clips of entertainment programming, designed to drive traffic to the BBC’s own site for viewing the full programs.
* The secondary entertainment channel, BBC Worldwide, will include archival footage and some pre-roll ads. UK viewers will be able to see this and that’s a big deal, as the licensing fees every pays are supposed to keep their BBC experience ad-free.
* The third channel, out later this year, will show about 30 news clips per day and will include ads. Those ads, however, won’t be visible to UK users. Fascinating.
* The BBC will not actively hunt down its copyrighted materials in other users’ accounts, but it does reserve the right to swap low quality footage out for high quality versions and make other small changes. That’s very smart.
Hmmm…. We’ll see.