BBC commits £34 million to “reinvent” children’s content for the digital age

The broadcaster’s new initiative looks to tackle children’s changing viewing habits, and compete with media giants such as Amazon Prime and Netflix.

The BBC has announced it is devoting over £30 million to “reinvent how it serves its youngest audience” online.

The broadcaster is set to spend an additional £34 million over the next three years on its children’s content and services, focusing on multimedia such as quizzes, games and apps.

The move looks to reflect the increasing time children now spend online, as well as compete with digitally-focused rivals such as Netflix and Amazon.

Children’s internet use has overtaken the time they spend watching traditional television, with 5-15 year olds now spending roughly 15 hours each week online, according to Ofcom.

The new investment has been delivered as a result of financial savings across the rest of the BBC, and will see its overall children’s budget increase from £110 million to £124.4 million by 2020.

CBBC’s 2016 rebrand by Red Bee Media

New youth-focused, digital services and content including video; live online programme extensions and clips; pictures; blogs; vlogs; podcasts; quizzes; guides; games and apps will run alongside the BBC’s existing children’s programmes, CBBC and CBeebies.

BBC Children’s director Alice Webb, says: “We’re home to the most popular kids TV channels in the UK, but as our audience increasingly move online it’s our job to stay relevant, inspiring and engaging for them on whichever platform they choose.”

“Today’s announcement means that while we’ll continue to make exceptional, distinctive public service UK children’s content across all of our platforms, we’ll also be able to develop a more personal online service that meets the evolving needs of our audience,” Webb adds.

The BBC was unable to confirm at the time of publishing which of its design rosters will be working on the digital transformation project.

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