Kangaroo reveals ad-funded model

LONDON - The backers of the Project Kangaroo video-on-demand product have promised to deliver a service backed by an ad-funded model offering free content to viewers.

Ashley Highfield...head of Kangaroo
Ashley Highfield...head of Kangaroo

View Kangaroo's submission to the Cometition Commission

Kangaroo is a joint venture between BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4, scheduled to launch by mid-2009 and led by Ashley Highfield.

Its partners said in an updated submission to the Competition Commission this week that each would be responsible for selling advertising around their own content on the website.

This will include "catch-up" material broadcast in the previous month and an archive of older broadcast material.

However, general display advertising on the site will be sold centrally by Kangaroo.

There will also be areas of paid-for content on the site, with viewers choosing to either "rent" or buy programmes along the lines of iTunes, Apple's digital media player.

The update also reveals that Channel 4's 4oD video-on-demand service will be closed but that the BBC's iPlayer, the catch-up TV and radio service, will be maintained as a separate service once the launch goes ahead.

The Competition Commission is investigating the planned launch in a process due to run until 8 February.

The launch is subject to Competition Commission clearance following concerns that it could unbalance the ad market and harm commercial rivals not involved.

Jim Marshall, the chair of the IPA Futures Group, said advertisers would welcome having access to BBC content but warned: "This does raise questions over the power of the BBC, which is in an undeniably luxurious position where licence-fee funding continues to increase while it's moving into new commercial ventures."

View Kangaroo's submission to the Cometition Commission