Crave Talk: What's the BBC doing on YouTube?

The BBC and YouTube are new best friends, but does the Beeb expect it will be able to upload video popular enough to outdo user-generated content?

Ian Morris
2 min read

As broadcasters try to secure their place in a world where it's easier to watch pirated content than it is the legitimate stuff, new deals emerge every day. The latest is the BBC's decision to partner with YouTube.

The BBC isn't the first broadcaster to have a go at YouTubing -- most of the American TV networks have partner sites too. CBS and NBC have clips from their late-night chat shows and comedies. You can even watch Playboy clips on YouTube, although we weren't brave enough to try that in the office.

While I love the idea of major broadcasters wasting even more of my valuable work hours by distracting me with fascinating and amusing videos, I'm not sure what the YouTube deal offers us that's different to what the BBC offers through its extensive Web site. Why can't I just watch David Tennant's Doctor Who video blog on the show's official site?

I certainly don't think this service isn't going to cut the number of unauthorised clips uploaded to YouTube. Most of the videos I found on the BBC Worldwide section were pretty old. In this day and age you have to move quickly to beat the enterprising members of the public who upload whole shows within minutes of them airing.

The deal is a good idea and any fresh, exciting content on the Internet can only be a good thing. But for UK users, the BBC's own Web sites offer far more video. Many shows such as Dragons' Den, Doctor Who and Top Gear already have extensive libraries of clips online. Time will tell if the YouTube deal offers anything unique, but at the moment it's not enough to lure me away from clips of dogs licking babies. Sorry, Auntie. -IM