Boyle-Mania: How Much Have ITV, Fremantle Missed Out On?

The wave of views for Britain’s Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle is now be slowing down, leaving us with recently reported estimates of anything up to £1.5 million for the amount missed by ITV (LSE: ITV) and producer FremantleMedia by not monetising YouTube plays.

But one online video exec contacted us to say those figures are well wide of the mark. Ashley MacKenzie is CEO of Myvideorights – a TV-to-web licensing house that, with clients including ESPN (NYSE: DIS) and All3Media, is amongst the UK’s biggest distributors of professional content to YouTube. The company also counts YouTube’s EMEA partnerships director Patrick Walker as an investor and non-executive director.

MacKenzie said: “Some of the numbers are not accurate. Whilst there is some good money to be made, we estimate more like £200,000 to £300,000. The reason it’s wrong is some of the valuations rely on pre-rolls, and YouTube won’t do pre-rolls.

“Still, £250,000 is not to be sniffed at. We do think there’s a missed opportunity. I’m sure, somewhere, a decision was made not to engage with YouTube on that content – no-one saw this SuBo mania coming – they misjudged the potential scale.” saw a sevenfold year-on-year traffic hike in the first week of Boyle-mania. has both pre-roll and wraparound sponsorships around the most-watched clip, but the vast majority of plays have been off-site. ITV wanted YouTube to introduce pre-roll ads to its site – something Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has tested but all-but rejected on user-experience grounds. Outgoing executive chairman Michael Grade last year labeled YouTube a “parasite” and is thought to have been a sticking point in ITV-Google relations.