Published: Fri, July 07, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

BBC to invest millions in homegrown children's content

BBC to invest millions in homegrown children's content

The U.K. public service broadcaster BBC announced it would spend £34 million ($44 million) on children's programming over the next three years to face off competition from global media giants like Facebook, Amazon and Netflix. It will fund an enhanced online offer for children, with new forms of content and interactivity.

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.

IPlayer Kids was launched a year ago as a response to this change, although it looks like the BBC clearly thinks there is more work to be done.

Children's will continue to spend the majority of its budget on its kids TV channels CBeebies and CBBC across every genre, including drama, comedy, factual and news.

Director General Tony Hall will tomorrow (Tues) publish the corporation's first annual plan, which sets out the broadcaster's aims for the year ahead.

The BBC has confirmed it will invest £34 million in expanding digital programming for children, as it attempts to win their attention in a changing online world.

"The new funding we've announced today for our Children's services - the biggest investment for a generation - will help us ensure we can maintain our reputation for world-class programmes across our linear channels, but also increasingly offer a personalised online offering for our younger viewers".

That brings the total BBC budget for children's content to around £124.4 million. This includes live online programme extensions and clips, pics, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, quizzes, guides, games and apps.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall said: "We put children's front and centre throughout the charter renewal process and today's announcement reflects our commitment to our youngest audiences". We're home to the most popular kids TV channels in the United Kingdom, but as our audience increasingly move online it's our job to stay relevant, inspiring and engaging them on whichever platform they choose.

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