FremantleMedia to cash in on Susan Boyle clips after striking YouTube deal

LONDON - FremantleMedia, the production company behind ITV's 'Britain's Got Talent', has secured a deal with YouTube to start selling ads around clips of Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle.

Fremantle has set up an official 'Britain's Got Talent' channel on the video-sharing site and plans to start selling ads around clips from the show once it obtains rights clearance.

As Fremantle owns the digital distribution rights for 'Britain's Got Talent' outside the UK and ITV owns the rights within the UK, the ads can only be sold on YouTube clips viewed outside the UK.

Fremantle's YouTube deal has been made with the agreement of ITV, which will receive a share of the ad revenue.

Ads will now also be sold against 'Britain's Got Talent' clips that are viewed by international users on ITV.com. Freemantle and ITV will share the ad revenue earned.

However, the broadcaster has still not secured a deal with YouTube to sell ads against the 'Britain's Got Talent' clips viewed inside the UK.

Boyle's clip has been viewed more than 100m times on YouTube in the two weeks since she appeared on the show.

The most popular clip of the 47-year-old singing 'I Dreamed a Dream' from the musical 'Les Miserables' was put up by a fan under the nickname "BritainsSoTalented". It has been viewed more than 46m times since it was uploaded on April 11.

There are also dozens more Susan Boyle videos posted on YouTube that have racked up millions of views.

Yet so far, no ads have been running against the clips and estimates of the cash lost from this failure to advertise range from a million pounds to £1.5m.

ITV has been trying to negotiate special terms with YouTube that will allow it to play pre-roll ads on the videos.

However, YouTube dislikes pre-roll ads and generally uses text ads and some overlay advertising, which appears at the bottom of the screen while the video is playing.

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