BBC heads content partners as YouTube goes global with original channels

Joseph O'Halloran | 09-10-2012

Nearly a year since it originally announced that it would enter the world of original channels, YouTube has made a step change to such offerings from France, Germany, the UK and the US.
Hosted original content from the world’s leading broadcasters has proved very successful for the online video behemoth now averages over a million views every week, with 800 million users watching four billion hours every month. In terms of growth hours are up from three billion hours earlier in 2012 with the number of people subscribing doubling year-on-year. Google says that its YouTube partners are reaching the 100,000 subscriber mark five times faster than they were just two years ago.
Content to be offered by the new channels encompasses local cuisine, health and wellness and parenting to sports, music, comedy, animation and news and at the vanguard of the new offering is a slate from BBC Worldwide.

BBC Worldwide currently manages six channels on YouTube, with the most popular being BBC Worldwide, Top Gear and EastEnders. BBC Worldwide believes that this latest deal will support the ambition to drive subscribers and views through the combination of high quality originated content and unlocking more of the BBC’s archive. To date there are 1.7 million subscribers to these channels which have been re-branded.
The BBC’s commercial arm of the BBC will offer two brand new original content channels including a new nature channel, showcasing films created by the commercially funded BBC Earth Productions, based in Bristol, the home of the BBC's Natural History Unit. Another topical science channel, produced in partnership with 360 Productions, will launch in early 2013.
Commented Daniel Heaf, EVP & Managing Director Digital at BBC Worldwide says: “BBC Worldwide is very excited about expanding our successful relationship with YouTube. Not only is it a place to distribute the best British content around the world it will, through our original content, be a place where we can experiment with new forms of creativity. We couldn’t be more thrilled at the prospects this brings our company, indies and audiences alike.”
BBC Worldwide will also be launching a selection of long-form programming in the UK and Canada for the first time, including the first ever episodes of EastEnders, classic comedy The Likely Lads, a selection from the BBC’s Shakespeare Collection and The Trials of Life and other dramas such as Campion and The Onedin Line.
A third strand of the deal sees BBC Worldwide renew its commitment to continue to add to its existing selection of over 8,000 clips, across its six bespoke redesigned channels .