Friday, October 09, 2009

Channel 4 Fall Foolishly For YouTube

There's a fair amount of irony around the announcement about a content deal between YouTube and Channel 4.

First of all, this deal wouldn't be happening at all if Kangaroo had gone ahead, I suspect, now it's a case of getting distribution wherever possible, largely on US owned services.

Secondly, it's reported that Channel 4 will be selling the ad inventory. Considering that this is what Google built their name doing there's a bit of irony that old media sales is having to be applied since Google haven't figured out a business model that works well for YouTube.

Third is that it's going to take professionally produced long form content to finally attract money to online television - something that this blog has harped on about forever and a day.

Fourthly, you have to ask 'why ?' - all this content is already available online (and on Virgin on demand) and it will inevitably weaken Channel 4's own website.

And, of course, finally there's the irony that Channel 4 is a public service broadcaster - albeit a strange kind of one. This is yet another argument as to why the channel should be privatised.

Now, will this make the other content owners fall in line ? It may be the first task confronting whoever takes over at ITV.