New BBC Three 'will prepare us for the future' says exec

News BBC Three "will prepare us for the future" says Danny Cohen
The BBC - pushing for a big change to BBC Three

The BBC's Director of of Television, Danny Cohen, believes that evolving BBC Three from a linear channel to an online experiment could be the key to stopping one of the television world's most iconic corporations from becoming a dinosaur.

At the press conference to announce the first details for BBC Three's move to online-only, Cohen and BBC Direct General Tony Hall were clear that the principal motivation is cost cutting.

But, although some would say conveniently, both insist that the change is an exciting one for the BBC, allowing it to try to engage with a younger audience that is less enamoured by traditional televisions viewing.

A hybrid model

"We see this as a chance to experiment," said Cohen. "The future of television is probably a hybrid model and unless we embrace that we will be stuck as a legacy broadcaster and we won't survive.

"This allows us to prepare for the future: allows us to lean into a new model."

The proposal for BBC Three was billed as revolutionary but, in truth, seems to be a relatively straightforward proposition.

To engage with a younger audience, the BBC will use social platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to push short form clips and videos in order to push an audience to either iPlayer or a 'live stream' that mingles on demand programmes, trailers, streamed content, and news/sports bites that is tailored for a younger audience.

BBC Three

In essence, that currently looks like a mix between a Tumblr, a blog and a live score centre, although there is still the need for Trust approval.

If it does go ahead then the new online version of BBC Three will launch in Autumn of 2015, bring millions of pounds worth of saving on the current linear channel, and remain largely focused on 'long form video' and the kinds of series that have brought the channel to prominence.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.