British broadcaster BBC has invested a whooping $44 million to compete from a position of strength with business giants Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix.
BBC, now 94 years old, said today that it has an annual plan to continue reinvesting for a “new generation BBC.”
“We put children’s front and center throughout the charter renewal process and today’s announcement reflects our commitment to our youngest audiences,” said Tony Hall, BBC Director-General.
Image: Tony Hall
“We’re making BBC Children’s fit for the future, maintaining our world-class channels whilst enhancing our online offer to meet the needs of the next generation.”
The UK public service broadcaster highlighted that it’ll focus more on luring children away from Amazon, Facebook and Netflix, with children’s programming at the top of its plan.
BBC expects to plow back profits from the investment within 3 years.
As the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, the London broadcasting house hopes to draw young audiences away from its Silicon Valley competitors through online games, podcasts, quizzes, photos, apps, and multimedia content such as video, live online programming, video blogs (vlogs). These and more, forms part of BBC’s interactive content which it said, will operate from a level greater than those of its competitors.
“Create, connect and share,” is the company’s slogan for its young audiences who will also get a chance to enjoy GCSE revision guides, among other fringe benefits.
The company said it’ll distribute funding across its children’s TV channels CBeebies, CBBC, and other media platforms.
“In terms of our ambitions, the plan talks about reinventing the BBC for a new generation,” the BBC revealed in a statement.
“It makes clear that the BBC’s historic mission – to inform, educate and entertain – remains unchanged but that with the BBC facing competition from other U.K. broadcasters and global media giants like Facebook, Amazon and Netflix, and young people in particular consuming media in different ways, the BBC will need to achieve it in different ways.”
Talking about the incredible achievements from other media giants like YouTube and Netflix, BBC’s Children’s Director Alice Webb said: “Our audience is rapidly changing and now more than ever we need to keep up.
“We’re home to the most popular kids’ TV channels in the U.K., but as our audience increasingly move(s) online it’s our job to stay relevant, inspiring and engaging them on whichever platform they choose.”
BBC is strategizing against what it called a “significant” decrease in the time spent by kids in watching traditional linear children’s channels. It therefore, hopes to produce “world-class, UK-produced children’s programming across all genres, including drama, comedy, factual and news.”
70 percent of YouTube users are made of kids aged 6-12 who often love to play games while watching videos.
Image: Tony Hall
According to a survey conducted by the consumer insights company Trendera in May, ‘teenagers watch about twice as much Netflix as live television. Teens spent 34 percent of their video time watching YouTube, compared to 27 percent watching Netflix, and only 14 percent watching live TV.’
Netflix is an American entertainment company founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph on August 29, 1997. It specializes in streaming media and offering online videos on-demand. It also sells DVD by mail.
In 2013, Netflix expanded into film and television production, as well as online distribution.
BBC, a company of over 35,000 employees, principally funds its work by an annual television licence fee. Nearly a quarter of the company’s earnings are from its commercial arm BBC Worldwide Ltd, which sells BBC programmes and services internationally.
BBC Worldwide Ltd. also distributes the BBC’s international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, and operates BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd., as other sources of income.