While U.S. broadcasters and cablecos work to find a way to monetize their online video content that's found its way to free hubs like Hulu and YouTube, British broadcaster Channel 4 is heading in a different direction, uploading complete programs to YouTube for viewers to watch-GASP!--for free.
It's a pioneering move. Channel 4 is the first broadcaster in the world to put such a massive amount of programming voluntarily on a video-sharing website; in fact, Channel 4 says it will upload an additional 3,000 hours of its archived programming.
Current propgrams will be available shortly after they air. In return, Channey 4 will be placing advertising around its own programming and will be allowed to place other advertising across the YouTube platform, around videos it hasn't uploaded.
Channel 4 has been a leader before, the BBC says. It was the first broadcaster in the U.K. to sell advertising around online content as well as being the first to have VOD.
Neither YouTube nor Channel 4 would reveal financial details of the three-year agreement, beyond saying they would share revenue.
"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," said Andy Duncan, the Channel 4 chief executive, in a prepared statement. "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."
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