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Published: Wed, July 05, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

BBC Boosts Kids' Programming to Fend Off Streaming Services, Social Media

BBC Boosts Kids' Programming to Fend Off Streaming Services, Social Media

In a speech to staff, Lord Hall, the director-general, will spell out how the BBC must "reinvent" its offering to its youngest audience in the coming years, moving beyond television programmes to become a serious rival to "global media giants".

Tony Hall, BBC director general, and chairman David Clementi are to announce the new cash boost Tuesday.

The investment, which was made possible by recent savings across the BBC, will see BBC's Children's budget increase from US$143 million (£110 million) today to US$161 million (£124.4 million) by 2019/20.

British children are also spending more time online and on social networks, and while the BBC introduced a Kids iPlayer past year, it is mindful of losing eyeballs to newer services.

The aim is to produce "world-class, UK-produced children's programming across all genres, including drama, comedy, factual and news", while ensuring its content is available to children whenever they want it.

By 2019/20, a quarter of the budget, or £31.4m, will be spent online.

Content that stands out from the crowd: the BBC will focus on a smaller number of stand-out titles for which it will commission TV series and high-quality brand extensions across all platforms.

The source added that the BBC is exploring how new technologies can enhance how children and adults discover new content, which is one area in which the broadcaster could one-up Amazon and Netflix, whose programme discovery interfaces are notoriously useless. The plan outlined in the BBC's statement calls for video, blogs, vlogs, podcasts and quizzes that adapt to young viewers' "rapidly" changing sources of content. "Today's announcement means that whilst we'll continue to make exceptional, distinctive public service United Kingdom 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".

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