Should We Watch What Happens With BBC3 to See the Future?

By Kevin Eck 

Next week, BBC3 is scheduled to go from over the air broadcaster to internet broadcaster 13 years after it first came into existence.

Some inside the venerable British Broadcasting Corporation say the move will cause “massive damage to the development of future television audiences and of new talent, both on and off-screen.” But with the upcoming spectrum auction predicted to push some local stations off the air here in the U.S., the BBC3 move could be the perfect test case for what to do, or not do, in the colonies.

One reason for the switch is to focus on the elusive younger viewer, who is platform agnostic. But Damian Kavanaugh, the man behind the move, told The Guardian they haven’t figured out how to define success, yet.

How the BBC will measure the success of the pioneering BBC3 is tricky because as well as some shows being broadcast on BBC1 and BBC2 it will also have outlets on YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook.

“We’re working it out,” says Kavanagh. “It is difficult and no one’s cracked it entirely as we’re out on so many different platforms. I don’t envy the job of the people who are going to try and tell the story. But the way people are consuming content is changing and we as an organisation have got to get good at measuring how it’s doing.”

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