Arqiva is forging forward with its planned launch of SeeSaw, revealing the brand identity for the online video service. The video venture from the main transmission services provider in the United Kingdom has yet to reveal any programming deals. SeeSaw, acquired from the former Kangaroo project, has a window of opportunity to establish itself as a one-stop video shop under a new master.
The SeeSaw identity was created by Rudd Studio, which has previously done a lot of work for Channel Four. The logo combines references to play and rewind symbols and the suggestion of an eye in a playful way.
The “see saw” logo trade mark was filed in November 2008, although the name was first filed back in March 2008.
The transmission infrastructure group acquired the SeeSaw name and logo with the assets of Kangaroo, the joint venture online video service planned by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 but blocked by the Competition Commission.
The service was poised to launch to the public in February 2009 when the Competition Commission ruled that the joint venture was “too much of a threat to competition in this developing market and has to be stopped”.
The platform, developed by digital media systems integrators ioko, was put up for sale and the assets were acquired by Arqiva for a reported £8 million.
SeeSaw could deliver on the original promise of project Kangaroo, providing a one-stop video shop for a range of broadcasters and distributors. In order to do so it will need to create a compelling catalogue of programming. Without co-operation from the original partners, and access to their libraries, the venture faces substantial challenges in a competitive market.
Following the collapse of Kangaroo, most British broadcasters have been pursuing their own separate initiatives, and are waiting to see what will come of Canvas, a separate joint venture platform proposed by the BBC, ITV and BT, subsequently joined by channel Five.
The BBC iPlayer has so far led the usage of online video for full-length catch-up programming from British broadcasters, aided by strong programmes, on-air promotion and the absence of advertising.
Channel Four recently announced its intention to make a significant proportion of its programming available on YouTube.
Hulu, the American joint venture between NBC Universal and Fox, joined by ABC, is expected to announce its own international expansion plans.
As the transmission services provider for terrestrial broadcasters in the United Kingdom, Arqiva is well-placed to offer a neutral platform that avoids the regulatory and organisational complexities of Kangaroo and Canvas.
The SeeSaw initiative, headed by chief executive Pierre-Jean Sebert and platform controller John Keeling, has hired Matt Rennie, who previously worked at Channel 4 and Virgin Media, as commercial director.
Arqiva claims that it will offer the best of British programming, supported by international imports, although it has yet to announce any distribution deals.
The company recently appointed advertising agency Fallon and media planning and buying agency Vizeum to prepare a £5 million campaign to launch the brand.