MySpace adds clips of BBC shows
With an announcement that it is adding video clips of television episodes from the BBC, MySpace is starting to look a lot like MyTube.
The social networking site said Wednesday it was introducing short clips from BBC television series such as Top Gear, Doctor Who and Red Dwarf for members to view and use in their profiles.
The content will be available to the site's 110 million users in 27 countries, including Canada, via the site's recently launched MySpaceTV video platform.
Aside from watching the clips on the video platform, users will be able to embed them onto their pages and share them with friends.
"It's not just about sitting back and watching it, it's about engaging with it," said Jeff Berman, executive vice-president of marketing and content for MySpace, in an interview.
The BBC clips are the latest addition to the website's video library, which is rapidly becoming a rival for Google-owned YouTube portal.
MySpaceTV launched in beta form in June and has since announced numerous deals with content producers including the New York Times, National Geographic and Fox.
The video offerings also give MySpace, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., a big leg up over its chief rival, Facebook, which does not offer licensed content.
Berman described the site as a "new network." He said MySpace is in talks with content producers around the world and will announce additional "hypersyndication" content deals soon.
For the BBC, the deal allows the network to expand the reach of its shows.
"With the global nature of the deal, this is a great opportunity to put the best shows from the BBC in front of new audiences," said Simon Danker, director of digital media for BBC Worldwide, in a release.
The announcement also follows on a bevy of moves by various web players and content producers to bring licensed video to the internet, particularly in the United States. In the past week alone, Apple announced it would offer movie rentals for download while HBO said it would allow users to view its programming over the internet.
Canadians, however, continue to be shut out of most of the big offerings because of confusion and disputes over who has internet rights to television shows and movies in Canada.