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Dave, Really and Watch to run Amazon-style streaming pilots for new shows

UKTV channels Dave, Really and Watch is taking a leaf out of Amazon’s book by inviting viewers to watch and rate TV pilots on the internet to decide which ones become full series.

The initiative will be a new feature of the broadcaster’s UKTV Play service that relaunched in June when the company decided to replace its individually branded on demand services with one single portal.

Amazon’s pilot seasons also invite people to watch pilots and then vote on which the would like to see made into full seasons, with the third year of new hopefuls launching last week for free on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

UKTV's pilots will appear on UKTV Play alongside programmes such as Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Goodish
UKTV’s pilots will appear on UKTV Play alongside programmes such as Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish

Emma Boston, UKTV’s new head of VoD, told TV industry magazine Broadcast: “It will give us the opportunity to commission slightly different types of content. It’s important to think about ways in which we can extend our audience.”

Launched in June, UKTV Play offers a catch-up service for shows aired across  Dave, Really and Watch, and the broadcaster said on demand traffic has doubled week-on-week since rolling its shows into one platform.

The service is currently available on iPhone and iPad, with PC and YouView versions promised by the end of 2014.

Boston also called for TV providers including Sky and Virgin Media to give broadcasters like UKTV more information about viewing habits so they can commission content the public wants to watch.

The company wishes to broadcast media in ‘riskier formats’ such as PC, mobile and social media as part of its Formats Lab venture, which aims to reach people consuming media on alternatives to the TV screen.


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