BBC must reinvent public service broadcasting, and iPlayer, for a new generation says DG | Broadcast | News | Rapid TV News
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As it celebrated the first anniversary of its new 11-year charter, the BBC has admitted that it needs to enter a period of reinvention to fend off the challenge of not only pay-TV rivals but also the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

BBC Tony hall 11 JanIn a speech that he said intended to show where the BBC was going, what it wants to be and what it was going to do, Director-General Tony Hall said that the start of a new charter was a critical moment, one in which he wanted to see the BBC reinvent public service broadcasting for a new generation.

Hall revealed that one of the single biggest strategic issues the BBC faced was reaching and addressing and the needs of young people without forsaking existing audiences. The key strategic move in achieving this objective would be to reinvent the iPlayer, the product that Hall said was the biggest revolution of the last charter.

Describing it as the leading video-on-demand (VOD) service in the UK, Hall said that the challenge was to transition iPlayer from a catch-up service to a must-visit online TV destination in its own right. Hall outlined the challenges this would entail: “That will mean doubling our reach, and quadrupling the time each person spends on it every week. And we want do it by 2020.”

The DG added that if the BBC were to reinvent public service broadcasting for the next generation, it needed to concentrate on three priorities: creativity; culture; and global ambition. Hall said he wanted the BBC during this charter to be defined by boldness, originality and risk-taking, generating new ideas, innovating further and taking greater risks. This could likely mean the BBC examining big technological changes such as voice recognition and virtual reality. Cultural changes would see the BBC cutting overheads and adopting new practices. “Old ways of doing things - working in silos - simply can’t succeed,” said Hall. “Nor can the traditional ways of delivering services - big project plans, with budgets allocated five years out. We’ve got to be much more entrepreneurial in our make-up.”

The global ambition plan was centred around BBC Studios which Hall said represented a true revolution in the way the BBC sourced and made its programmes. Hall said that he was convinced that BBC Studios was the only way it would secure its future as “one of the very best programme-makers in the world.”