Arts Council England
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The first multi-channel network for the arts to be set up with £1.8M Arts Council Lottery funding

The Arts Council announced recently a multi-channel network (MCN) for the arts, offering a £1.8M grant to Rightster, a digital content company that will set up and manage the new network.

MCNs are aggregations of large numbers of YouTube channels, run by independent third-party companies. These are proving highly successful in attracting audiences to lifestyle areas such as food, sport, fashion and comedy; we hope to achieve the same for the arts.

The new MCN will help audiences to discover arts content online and extend the reach of publically funded arts by bringing together existing content from multiple arts providers to create new online destinations.  

Simon Mellor, Arts Council’s Executive Director for Arts and Culture, said:

‘There is some great arts content online, but it is hard to find and fragmented.  We hope that the award to Rightster will support the arts sector to find and develop new audiences and build their profile in this expanding digital space.’ 

‘We believe the new MCN will be particularly effective in supporting the profile of smaller organisations and artists across England that are producing great content but don’t have well-known brands and therefore find it harder to build audiences for their content.’

Simon Walker, Chief Strategy Officer, Rightster, said:

‘We are absolutely thrilled to have been selected by the Arts Council to deliver this important and timely initiative. Their innovative ambition is to ensure that the extraordinary riches of the arts scene are properly represented in this brave new world of online video. As a young British technology company, Rightster is proud to have been chosen to support this vision. We look forward to helping artists and arts organisations tell their stories and reach the right audiences with the right content in the right context and at the right scale.’

Next steps

Over the coming months, Rightster will work with the arts and culture sector to develop the MCN proposition, with a view to launching the new channel in spring/summer 2015. Funding will be made available between October 2014 and March 2018.

Links and more information

The new channel is just one of the ways that the Arts Council is using digital to extend the reach of publically funded arts and culture.

Read more about this grant award  

Read about The Space, a new space for artists and audiences to invent and explore brilliant digital art, and Random Acts, our partnership with Channel 4 that that enables artists and filmmakers to showcase their work on Channel 4 platforms. 

Follow Rightster and the Arts Council on Twitter


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