We will fight them on the channels – what YouTube is doing to take on the broadcasters.

This is an interesting development, with YouTube going to launch channels for content made by big production companies.

The main broadcasters have been pushing up the quality of their prime time offerings with HD and next 3D, period dramas etc – this could be to differentiate themselves from all the other video washing around. The idea was perhaps that you watch YouTube on your PC and on your phone, but the TV is reserved for something better. However…

It seems that YouTube is now playing the quality game. Presumably to differentiate itself from something else.

All the providers are aiming to be platform independent – so you get drama on your phone and youtube on Your TV.

A lot of people for years have been saying that TV channels will die – i heard that predicted on the Today programme only a few weeks ago. I see no sign of it. I think TV channels are the supermarket packaging that will help consumers identify content and with which they will build loyalty. There are many emerging examples of channels and micro channels – blogs are among them, made up of original content on a theme and in a style.

Mainstream broadcasters commission a large part of their output from external production companies, but now those same companies might be making programmes for YouTube.  It’s going to be a bit like saying Coke and Pepsi are the same stuff just in different branded bottles.  A BBC programme is not necessarily made by the BBC or even seen on the BBC.    All very confusing.  Labelling and packaging of the programmes and channels will be critical.

Adopt the voice of Churchill for this next bit….

Big channels are where broadcasters can assert their authority though high editorial and presentation standards.  These channels will be the place to go for significant, well timed cultural events. Families and friends will rush home to catch the big show. Twitter will be alive with conversation around scheduled events and the nation will believe it is one.  WE WILL FIGHT THEM ON THE CHANNELS.

Anyway, read more about it in the Telegraph (a channel) here YouTube takes aim at broadcasters with 60 new channels


Published by Mark

Mark Waddington is a former BBC broadcaster and producer. He now works for the Diocese of Leeds as Urban Mission Officer. If you would like to get in touch email mark.waddington@leeds.anglican.org