Advanced Television

Channel 4 considers online pay options

October 21, 2010

From Colin Mann in London

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has not discounted the possibility of charging for some of its online content, according to its head of VOD Content, Sarah Milton. She told delegates at the Screen Digest Future of Digital Media Conference that there was “clearly a willingness to pay for certain content, so we’re interested in exploring those opportunities that are relevant to us.”

Channel 4’s early forays into online content involved pay, but recent business models have centred on ad-supported options. Milton also said that the broadcaster was constantly reviewing its windowing of content. “It may be that we look at other models. We’re still very much experimenting.”

Alex Green, Executive Director, TV and Commercial Online Management at Virgin Media predicted that the operator’s forthcoming service launch in conjunction with TiVo would be the ‘killer app in the Living Room. It will change the way people consume content, bringing together broadcast, VOD and the Internet.

Brightcove Chairman and CEO Jeremy Allaire warned that although the proliferation of devices and the rise in online consumption presented a bright future, online content aggregators were not yet ready “to write big cheques to programming companies,” implying that traditional delivery and consumption would continue to play a significant role.

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