BBC executive board member Sir Howard Stringer (pictured) has highlighted the need for the BBC to make content first for mobile and to appeal to social audiences. Stringer detailed his action points in the ‘2022: Towards 500 million’ report looking at how the BBC can expand its global audience reach.
The report states: “If the target weekly reach of 500 million is to be met, digital is going to be very important and a step change needs to be made to make the most of it.”
“The combination of the growth in mobile broadband and the growth in the young, aspiring global middle class dictates that the BBC must focus on serving the needs of that audience in whichever market it is operating in,” said Stringer.
Stringer’s report states that the BBC has to shift its focus from putting traditional broadcasting first to putting mobile first. By 2022, the BBC should be mobile first in every market outside the UK.
The report highlights that in the main markets the BBC is targeting, there should also be investment in social newsgathering. BBC Turkish has led the way experimenting with this in the BBC and in 2013 it had an average of 22% of direct traffic from social media as opposed to 4% for bbc.com/news.
In terms of new opportunities, Stringer urged the BBC to look for more partners for language service TV bulletins, a multi-genre channel in Africa and a new language service in Ethiopia.
In response to the report, Liliane Landor, acting director of BBC World Service Group, commented: “We welcome Sir Howard Stringer’s report – it is stimulating and ambitious, and asks refreshing, sometimes provocative, questions of the BBC.
“We will continue to harness social media as well as focus on digital-first and mobile-first markets, and adapt our journalism accordingly. And we will continue to explore editorial partnerships as well as top-up commercial opportunities, as we have been tasked to do by the Trust.”
This story also appears on IBC’s Content Everywhere.