Kangaroo aims to boost value of indies’ content

BBC Worldwide, Channel 4 and ITV have quashed claims that their online video joint venture Kangaroo would be anti-competitive.

The parties submitted their statement to the UK Competition Commission, suggesting that their entry into the market will boost video-on-demand take up, which will particularly benefit independent production companies.

The three companies – which submitted their comments as UKVOD – said that rival commercial players would end up paying more for rights as a result. "It cannot be doubted that players such as Apple, Sky, Amazon, Microsoft and Sony have the know-how and resources to make highly competitive offers for VOD rights if they should wish to do so," it stated. "Independent production companies such as Endemol are large and sophisticated organisations that are perfectly capable of taking advantage of commercial opportunities by separating linear and VOD rights."

Project Kangaroo expects to gain up to 21% of the broadcast video-on-demand market over the next few years. It believes that its service will also boost demand for long tail content, particularly from smaller independent production companies.

"It will differ from other VOD offerings where content is seen as supporting the sale of hardware devices. Thus [Kangaroo] will include ‘dusty’ archive content, that is archive content of appeal to a limited audience that would be unlikely to be available elsewhere because it would not be viable to digitise and exploit such content on a stand alone basis," it added.