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BBC Introduces More Content Online, Extends Partnership With Youtube

BBC's commercial subsidiary, BBC Worldwide, and Google's online video service, Youtube, are set to extend their global collaboration after the BBC announced that it will be putting more content on Youtube; the two entities also renewed the arrangements they signed in 2007.

Interestingly, this content does not appear to be limited geographically, which means that a significantly bigger audience could have access to BBC's most popular content like Doctor Who, Top Gear and the Mighty Boosh.

The content will be distributed through BBC Worldwide's Youtube Channels and via short videos as well. In addition, the BBC is set to debut a limited number of full-length episodes of natural history content "The Life of Birds" to US viewers only.

Advertising, targeting a US audience, will be served to finance the operation, meaning that UK viewers will be, de facto, excluded from the launch.

Since the BBC is funded in the UK through the licence fee (which is set to increase again), the BBC normally does not make videos available outside the UK. It managed however to squeeze past this loophole by getting its money spinning machine, BBC worldwide, to do it.

BBC Worldwide has also launched Explore, a new Youtube Channel, which shows clips of BBC factual shows like "Amazon with Bruce Parry" and the Louis Theroux series. This comes shortly after the release of classic BBC cooking programmes via another channel called BBC Food.

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Our Comments

Unlike BBC's own iPlayer, Youtube will allow users to explore fully the "long tail" of BBC's extensive back catalogue. iPlayer only serves as a catch-up service for now, rather than a fully fledged archiving system. Interesting to see as well that BBC Worldwide is playing a more prominent role. BBC is currently testing waters but the latest deal with Youtube means that doors are opened for other such deals... maybe with Hulu?

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.