Is digital ready to sit at the same table as broadcast? Among the usual content deals at MIPCOM in Cannes this week (October 8-11), digital announcements were notable in attracting the most excitement.
The most buzz-inducing was Google's plan, revealed by YouTube programming head Robert Kyncl to invest $200 million in marketing 60 new YouTube channels, along with providing additional funds to help with production costs. New channels will include content from established content producers such as BBC Worldwide, Vice Magazine and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
Here's Kyncl's keynote at MIPCOM:
But beyond Google there were a number of deals that show digital is becoming ever more integral to the thinking and operation of the broadcast industry. Here are four of the most interesting examples.
-- Hulu announced its second co-production deal with BBC Worldwide Americas (BBCWA). The deal, to create a comedy series called The Wrong Mans, is already in production and will air on Hulu next year. It follows an earlier deal with BBCWA on the fourth series of UK political satire The Thick of It. Hulu CEO Jason Killar also told MIPCOM attendees they should embrace Hulu rather than fear it.
-- UltraViolet, a cloud-based content storage provider which allows consumers to watch films and TV shows they have bought on a range of devices legally, announced an international roll-out. Currently available in the US and UK, the Hollywood studio-backed service is set to launch in Canada shortly, with Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, France and Germany to be added in 2013. The firm has also signed up new content partners, including BBC Worldwide.
-- Commercial Canadian broadcaster CTV unveiled its first digital-only content deal.Smokebomb Productions is set to produce a series called Backpackers to be broadcast across CTV and Bell digital platforms. Canada was the MIPCOM "country of honour" in Cannes.
-- FreemantleMedia Entertainment signed a deal with online video content maker Vuguru to distribute its mainly made-for-YouTube content internationally to broadcasters. Vuguru has created content for the web in different formats ranging from two minutes to 30, and long-form versions of short web shows will be made for broadcasters.
Video killed the TV star?
These digital announcements show how the rise of online is drawing in traditional content producers to deliver shows online and influencing the way they are adapting their approach to their existing platforms to cope with changing consumption habits.
The fact the TV industry can no longer ignore digital was even more clear in the conference schedule, with speeches and talks such as this one from Conde Nast Entertainment head Dawn Ostroff pointing to a dominant role for digital in the near future. Below is a Storify picking out some of the digital-focused highlights in tweets and links.