New UK Video-on-demand (VoD) service SeeSaw is to go into private beta testing from today.
The service will include content from a host of networks, including the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5 after a deal was agreed last month.
SeeSaw will offer ‘best of British’ content free to users, supported by pre- and mid-roll advertising, as well as international programming, which will form part of a paid-for service to launch later this year.
The VoD service is backed by Arqiva, the transmission infrastructure outfit, which acquired the technology from the now-defunct Project Kangaroo.
Arqiva is understood to have paid in the region of £8m for the Project Kangaroo technology, after the original scheme was blocked from launching by the Competition Commission earlier this year.
Video Initiatives, SeeSaw’s ad sales partner, will sell all advertising inventory on the platform, with the exception of some key broadcaster content where supply agreements include the right to sell their advertising within their content.
In an interview with the Financial Times, SeeSaw platform controller, John Keeling, stated that the service’s content offerings will be presented through channels, including “Critically Acclaimed Drama” and “The Best Years of Your Life.”
He added that the service will be able to add and highlight new channels in response to current events. “The ambition for the site is very much that we keep it as current and alive as possible,” Keeling told the newspaper. “The great thing about a site such as SeeSaw is that we can react to the events of the day. We have programming to reflect what is happening to the world, and we have the ability to bring it to the surface to highlight it immediately.”
Up to 10,000 people will receive invitations for a first look at SeeSaw, and you can still apply to join the beta on the site itself, it has been noted on the sites twitter account that invitations have yet to be sent.