Six months after it initially announced ending BBC Three as a broadcast channel, the BBC has given more detail as to what the new online concern will look like as well as unveiling a new +1 offering for its flagship TV station.
BBCAnnouncing the plans Director General Tony Hall claimed that the switch to online-only for the youth-oriented channel will generate savings of £50 million which will be reinvested into BBC Three online, as well as strengthening BBC One.
"With the Licence Fee frozen we've had to make difficult decisions – and none more so than our proposal to move BBC Three online," Hall said. "In rising to this challenge, we've managed to come up with one of the most exciting and ambitious proposals I've seen since I came back to the BBC. By searching out new ways to engage and entertain young audiences on their terms, the new BBC Three will be a great example of how we can reinvent the public service for the digital world – using their talent, appearing on the platforms and devices that they use and talking to them as equals and partners."
Though under constant pressure from politicians and other media to justify the Licence Fee, the BBC argues that in addition to financial necessity, moving BBC Three online presents an opportunity to develop new forms, formats, different durations, and more individualised and interactive content.
It added that the launch would 'play to BBC Three's strengths', offer something distinctive and new, and enhance the BBC's reputation with young audiences. The new channel will be based on two key editorial pillars — Make Me Think and Make Me Laugh — an will offer new forms and formats, different durations, and more individualised and interactive content.
The corporation regards the launch as having the potential to shape and expand the market for the providers of digital entertainment, information and education for 16-34 year olds in the UK, and build demand for new forms of content. Moreover, the BBC said that it if were successful, the new BBC Three could help to build digital awareness in much the same way that BBC News Online encouraged take up of the internet and BBC iPlayer helped to build the market for video on demand (VOD) services.
For its part, and aiming not to alienate traditional viewers, the new BBC One+1 will support the BBC's strategic objective to better serve audiences by strengthening its channels and by increasing the availability of programmes for those who do not use BBC iPlayer or have access to broadband. The BBC stressed that although viewing may be shifting away from linear towards on-demand services, broadcast television was still very important for younger audiences.