Barcroft commits to self-funded digital-first long form docs

DetailsEditor | 31 January 2015

UK hybrid linear and digital TV producer/distributor Barcroft Media has commissioned a series of original self-funded, long form documentary projects to premiere on its digital platform.

barcroftThe company, known for its TV documentary programming which is claimed to depict the ‘amazing side of life’, will commission an initial run of 6 x 30-minute shows. They will appear in a new Barcroft TV programming strand called Original Docs and include titles such as 1-800 Autopsy and Shark Fishing. After appearing on the Barcroft TV channel, programmes will then become available for international linear TV acquisition.

Barcroft’s move comes after the company analysed three months’ worth of user data, gathered from over 200 million views of long and short form films on Barcroft TV channels across online video platforms such as YouTube, Yahoo Screen, Daily Motion, AOL On, MSN, Japan’s Gyao! and China’s YouKu. The company also struck in October 2014 a series of long form documentary content deals with partners including ITV Studios, Off The Fence and Zig Zag Productions. These arrangements convinced Barcroft that there would be a positive response to long-form content and that self-funding for new original content was sustainable. The company is also seeking further content owners keen to monetise their appropriate catalogue content to new digital audiences.

"Whilst Barcroft TV has experienced incredible growth through remarkable short form clips, we’re now seeing sustained demand for long form documentary content – particularly brand new, original shows,” said CEO Media Sam Barcroft.

“Our digital content and TV production businesses, together with our editorial team’s output and deep data analysis have now reached the point where each part of the business fuels the other…We have listened to our audience and taken the logical step of self-funding six documentaries that we’ll premiere on Barcroft TV that will then become available for TV networks”.