Are BBC leading the way for the traditional Broadcasters?

On Monday 15th February, BBC 3 announced that it was their last night on the traditional viewing platform, the television, due to the fact that they were looking to save £30 million.

Rather than shutting down the channel completely the view was taken to move it to an online platform, but what does this mean for the Viewers, the Brand and BBC as a whole.


Let’s start with the Viewers.

There are roughly 925,000 people that only watch BBC content through BBC 3. Research shows that they simply do not watch anything on BBC 1, BBC 2 or BBC 4. The reasons for this are due to popular and relevant programmes, including, Professor Green’s examination on male suicide, Our War and hit dramas and comedies like “In the Flesh” and “Bluestone 42”.

Of these 925,000 viewers, 80% (740,000) of them of them could be lost, according to the Trust’s projected figures. Of those 740,000 viewers, 73% of them are aged between 16 and 34. In black and white, that is more than half a million young people who could be leaving the BBC when BBC 3 moves online.

However this could potentially have been the greatest thing BBC could have done, following the shift in modern viewing behaviour.. Regulators, International Communication Reports suggested 70% of the UK adult population watch TV using free-to-air catch up services over the 2015 Christmas period. With 42% of UK households owning a TV connected to the internet, have BBC 3 actually got it right?


BBC 3 the brand.

Traditionally the youth channel for the oldest British Broadcaster, BBC will be the first Brand in history to switch from broadcasting on a linear channel an online-only channel. The re-invented, fresher, younger looking channel in my eyes is taking a huge risk, but a risk I think that the younger audiences will actually relish, however with the younger generation tending to be more flighty online, brands have to create stand out content to hold their attention. I think BBC 3 focusing on comedy, could be a great angle, as that is an open field and lends itself to a lot of differentiation.


BBC as a whole.

With the transformation of consumer behaviour, I think that moving BBC 3 online is a great move. It will put its name in the hat and compete against the likes of Netflix, which can only be a good thing to win over the younger audiences as well as providing growth plans that traditional media can no longer provide for them, but because of this the Content has never been so important. However, on the other hand, will completely removing the channel from television have a damaging effect… Only the future knows.



Rory Stewart-Richardson