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Thursday, January 24, 2008

The commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation is expected to announce a partnership with MySpace

Growing Online, BBC Is to Join With MySpace

The commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation is expected to announce a partnership with MySpace on Thursday to make some of its content available on MySpace, the popular social networking Web site.

MySpace, part of the News Corporation, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said Wednesday that the relationship was its first global agreement with a major broadcaster. The companies will share advertising revenue.

The BBC has already found some success syndicating content on the Google Web site YouTube, where its videos have garnered more than three million views since last February. MySpaceTV is the second most popular video Web site, behind YouTube.

For the BBC, the latest deal offers an opportunity to widen the release of its content, trying to reach younger consumers where they socialize.

"This partnership continues our strategy of putting BBC content right at the heart of where audiences spend their time and watch video online," Simon Danker, the director of digital media at BBC Worldwide, said in a statement.

The partnership is significant for the 13 local-language versions of MySpaceTV around the world, because MySpace's previous collaborations with television networks have been restricted to certain markets. The BBC content will be available anywhere in the world on MySpace's 23 regional sites.

"Our users are consuming an enormous amount of video," said Jeff Berman, the general manager of MySpaceTV. With the deal, Mr. Berman is expected to be promoted to executive vice president for marketing and content. The former marketing chief left in November.

While MySpaceTV offers full-length episodes of NBC and Fox television shows, short-form video has proved to be a more popular format.

The new BBC site promises clips from "the best of British TV," grouped into channels for comedy, drama, sci-fi, documentary and other content. On YouTube, which will continue to carry BBC videos, the most popular BBC products have featured the automotive action series "Top Gear," and on MySpace, the show will have its own channel.

Like many British programs before it, "Top Gear" has elicited American interest; NBC ordered an American pilot episode this month.

Users will be able to embed the videos on their MySpace profile pages and discuss them content on a BBC forum.


MySpace, Chasing YouTube, Upgrades Its Offerings

Two years ago, millions of MySpace users began adding video clips to their profile pages, helping to give rise to YouTube, which Google bought last October for $1.65 billion.
MySpace, a division of the News Corporation, will show that it is serious about challenging YouTube in the booming world of online video.

British Broadcasting Company

The British Broadcasting Company Ltd was a British commercial company formed on October 18, 1922 by British and American electrical companies doing business in the United Kingdom. Its original office was located on the fifth floor of the Marconi building in London. On December 14, 1922, John Reith was hired to become the Managing Director of the company. On December 31, 1926, the company was dissolved and its assets were transferred to the Crown Chartered British Broadcasting Corporation.

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