The BBC are pulling out the big guns to pull young people away from the likes of YouTube, Netflix and Amazon.
The broadcaster announced today that it will spend £34 million on online content across the next three years. The funding will be spent on a range of online content; including video, apps, live online clips, blogging, quizzes, podcasts and games.
The BBC’s youth-focused content has historically been both popular and well-respected.
But with the rise of on demand platforms over the past few years, its influence and reach has dwindled. YouTube’s dominance over the BBC is most pronounced when looking at the youngest demographics; YouTube is now the favourite brand of 70% of kids aged 6-12, according to the BBC’s annual report.
“The new funding we’ve announced today for our Children’s services – the biggest investment for a generation – will help us ensure we can maintain our reputation for world-class programmes across our linear channels, but also increasingly offer a personalised online offering for our younger viewers,” BBC director general Tony Hall said. “By keeping our focus on our audiences we’ll be best placed to meet the challenges ahead of us and will ensure the BBC of 2022 continues to serves the whole of the UK.”
The BBC said the funding is a response to changes in how young people “are watching and consuming programmes.”
“Investment in British content – particularly for the young – is vital; unless we want more of our culture shaped and defined by the rise of West Coast American companies,” they added.
“Our audience is rapidly changing, and now more than ever we need to keep up,” said Alice Webb, director of Children’s Programming. “We’re home to the most popular kids’ TV channels in the UK; but as our audience increasingly move[s] online, it’s our job to stay relevant, inspiring and engaging them on whichever platform they choose.”