Summit ’15: Barcroft TV to launch long-form doc strand

The UK-based digital content producer/distributor has commissioned six 30-minute docs, including Landing Sharks (pictured), that will premiere on the Barcroft TV YouTube channel before becoming available for linear TV acquisition.
January 28, 2015

Barcroft Media is launching a strand for original, long-form documentaries on its YouTube channel Barcroft TV.

The London-based digital TV producer and distributor has commissioned six 30-minute, self-financed docs that will premiere on YouTube under the banner ‘Original Docs’ before becoming available for linear TV acquisition. The docs include 1-800 Autopsy and Landing Sharks (pictured).

The company, which is known for short-form and viral videos, is hoping the docs will satiate increased desire among viewers for long-form content.

Barcroft recently conducted a three-month analysis of user data gathered from more than 200 million views of its short- and long-form content available across YouTube, Yahoo Screen, Dailymotion, MSN and other digital video sites.

That content included docs produced through Barcroft’s coproduction partnerships with ITV Studios, Off The Fence and Zig Zag Productions. As a result of the study, the company is committing to self-funding more long-form content.

“We’re now seeing sustained demand for long-form documentary content – particularly brand new, original shows depicting the amazing side of life,” CEO Sam Barcroft said in a statement. “Our digital content and TV production businesses, together with our editorial team’s output and deep data analysis have now reached the point where each part of the business fuels the other.”

The company’s recent network commissions include the hour-long Channel 5 doc Grandmother Lover, which will air in 2015. A shorter YouTube version of the film originally debuted online via Barcroft TV.

Barcroft, who participated in the digital video panel The Next Wave at the Realscreen Summit on Wednesday (January 28), is pitching the doc to U.S. nets. He is also pitching Seniors Behaving Badly, an American versions of the OAPs Behaving Badly pilot that Channel 5 in the UK has greenlit to series.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.