Digital Originals

Generally, Digital Originals are productions made with the CBC’s own video player as a primary distribution point, although we also explore many other avenues for distribution. CBC tends to think of videos created primarily for social networks like Facebook and YouTube as “Social Video”, whereas somewhat larger budgets are attached to “Digital Originals” that are more of a “lean back” experience. However you slice it or label it, the content is vital to our culture, and no matter what kind of digital video you’re making, the information in this section is relevant to the business of production.

Digital Development

In a nutshell, everything written in the Television Development section also applies to Digital Originals, with a few exceptions. First, it’s easier to put Digital Originals straight into production (they’re generally shorter in duration and episode count, may involve fewer characters, etc), so, generally speaking, CBC does less development in the Digital realm because it’s not needed. Second, there are fewer financing sources -- at present, Canada Media Fund (CMF) funds aren’t available for development of Digital Originals, except in limited circumstances. Third, because the industry is new, there are fewer “standard rates” in Digital Original development. That said, CBC is committed to ensuring fair compensation for creators.

Digital Production

The biggest questions you’ll likely have are, ‘how much money is CBC contributing?’ and ‘what rights is CBC taking in return?’ And those are complex questions. Our financing contribution will be tied to the rights we’re taking and much of it will depend on genre, the rules governing external financing sources, and the proportion of CBC’s contribution to the overall budget. Please bear in mind that the digital space is evolving quickly -- not just in terms of distribution platforms and audience behaviours, but also in terms of financing sources. Rest assured that you’ll have ample opportunity to chat with a B&R representative about these questions. That’s what we’re here for!

Sample Contract for Social Video

The contract linked below is intended for use by our social video creators. “Social video programs” are a distinct subset of our digital original strategy. They tend to be smaller budget productions, primarily intended for use on our social platforms like YouTube and Facebook, rather than the CBC video player. Often, on these productions, we’re working with people who are fairly new to the industry or to working with broadcasters in particular.

Let’s imagine that your pitch for “social video” is successful and we’ve moved on to formalizing the business arrangement. You’ll notice that the contract linked below is missing dollar figures and other project specific information. This information will come from your budget, production schedule and other documents which you’ll prepare in consultation with CBC’s creative and business teams. Your final contract will be the key document that sets out our mutual rights and obligations. Read it carefully and don’t hesitate to ask us about the provisions in it.

Working with creators, who are, by their nature, boundary pushing, has encouraged CBC to push our own boundaries. The contract and process we’ve created for these videos represents a significant shift towards a more streamlined way of doing business. But it’s just the beginning. We expect to roll out similar contracts for all our independent producers regardless of genre or production type.

Below is an example of our standard Social Video Contract:

Standard Social Video Contract
Schedule “B” to Standard Social Video Contract: Standard Social Video Contract
Schedule “C” to Standard Social Video Contract: CBC Technical Standards
Schedule “D” to Standard Social Video Contract: Standard Terms and Conditions