It looks like the BBC could be streamlining its online services to make its websites easier to navigate, and its content easier to find and watch, in a bid to stave off competition from streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube.
In a report seen by the Daily Telegraph (and reported on by The Guardian), Tony Hall, BBC director general, told staff that “In the global market, against well-resourced competitors, we have to concentrate on a smaller number of services that deliver our best content online.”
According to a BBC source that spoke to the Telegraph, the BBC will cut back on online content that’s not used often by its audience. That means the BBC Earth and BBC Arts sections of the BBC’s website will close, and the Guardian reports that there will also be “less focus on celebrity gossip.”
It appears that the BBC will concentrate on the eight areas that bring in over 90% of its online audience: iPlayer, news, music and spoken word, weather, sport, children's content, BBC Bitesize revision and the BBC homepage.
The idea is that the content that is popular with its audience will be easier to find, and concentrating resources on those key areas should help improve their quality as well.
Netflix has been aggressively expanding its original content with big name comedy and drama offerings, while YouTube has become increasingly popular with children. The BBC recently released a report that pointed to Netflix as being a site that was eating into its audience.
Keeping the BBC, with its public service remit, popular with children will be essential for the broadcaster as these competitors grow.