Media Lifeline: YouTube's ad deals

Google has worked hard to monetise the video-sharing website since buying it three years ago.

October 2006: Google pays $1.6 billion for YouTube, with the intention to recoup its investment in part with revenue from video advertising around its content. YouTube, launched in 2005, already has 72 million visitors a month. Despite content deals with CBS and Sony BMG, critics suggest that Google will struggle to make money out of online video ad formats.

May 2007: EMI Music becomes the last of the "big four" record companies to sign a deal allowing authorised videos on YouTube. The record company says that it will use YouTube tools to track and monetise content and that a proportion of the revenue will be returned to artists including David Bowie, Fatboy Slim and Lily Allen.

March 2009: Channel 4 becomes the first broadcaster to sell pre-roll ads around clips of its content on YouTube. The move, which will see pre-roll ads around programmes such as Shameless, follows a similar deal between the broadcaster and Bebo.

April 2009: This is swiftly followed by a deal in the US that will see YouTube screen ad-supported clips from the Disney channels ESPN and ABC. The new channels will allow Disney to control what ads appear on the channels and provide a potential revenue stream for both companies. The deal will also allow overlay ads on content as well as pre-roll.

October 2009: C4 achieves another first when it becomes the first broadcaster anywhere in the world to announce a complete, free, catch-up schedule on YouTube. Supported by advertising, which C4 will sell and split the proceeds with YouTube, the service will be available from early 2010 and include 3,000 hours of archived programming, as well as a catch-up service of new programmes soon after they have been broadcast.

Fast forward ...

June 2011: Google powers in with a winning offer for C4 after new Tory legislation to privatise it. The vision is to expand the broadcaster's video-on-demand service, with Andy Barnes, C4's veteran sales director, to head the newly merged "You 4" commercial unit.


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