Sky is putting free episodes from some on its TV shows on YouTube, in an effort to entice viewers to its pay-TV services.
The broadcaster has struck a deal with YouTube to launch a channel, Sky First Episodes, that will allow viewers to watch the first episodes of shows including Moone Boy, A Young Doctor’s Notebook, The Tunnel and Moonfleet.
Set for launch on 1st February, the move forms part of a multimillion-pound campaign to promote Sky’s range of entertainment channels and programming.
More shows will be added to the channel over the coming months, including episodes from current series.
“We’re passionate about delivering truly great TV – and the best way of demonstrating this is to give people the opportunity to enjoy the shows for themselves,” said the Sky director of entertainment, marketing and digital, Naomi Gibney. “The combination of Sky First Episodes and a TV campaign featuring entire clips from our biggest and best series means that now everyone has the chance to sample Sky shows.”
“2014 will be the biggest and best ever year of entertainment on Sky, with customers able to enjoy an outstanding breadth and quality of TV across Sky’s entertainment channels,” said the Sky director of entertainent channels Stuart Murphy. “From brand new homegrown comedy and drama to the biggest series from the US, this year Sky customers can look forward to enjoying some of the very best shows on British TV.”
As well as the YouTube tie-up, Sky is spending millions on a marketing campaign that will include TV ads, featuring stars including Chris O’Dowd, Nick Frost and Dominic Cooper, running on rivals including ITV and Channel 4.
There will also be print, digital, poster and cinema ads, with the campaign created by agency Inferno+Draftfcb with media buying by Mediacom.
BSkyB has dabbled with offering some of its pay-TV content for free in the past.