BBC looks to its Creative Future
The big media story of the week is BBC's unveiling of Creative Future, a new editorial blueprint designed to deliver more value to audiences over the next six years and turn the BBC's public purposes laid out in the recent Government White Paper into quality content for the on-demand world.
A major component of the review is a relaunch of the BBC's website to include more personalisation, a richer audio-visual experience and user generated content. The new site development will incorporate BBC's three-pronged approach to refocus all future digital output and services around three concepts - "share", "find" and "play".
According to Ashley Highfield, the BBC director of new media and technology, the philosophy of "share" will be at the heart of what he dubbed bbc.co.uk 2.0.
Share is the public service version of something like Myspace, or Flickr. The share concept will allow users to "create your own space and to build bbc.co.uk around you", encouraging them to launch their own blogs and post home videos on the site.
Play is best exemplified by iMP, which allows viewers to download BBC TV and Radio programmes up to seven days after they are first broadcast.
The announcement has prompted understandable concerns from BBC's commercial rivals - it's difficult for anyone else in the UK media sector to compete on a level playing field with BBC's scale and - more to the point - public funding via the license fee.
That's absolutely true, although the others can still compete by being more creative and more flexible than the BBC Giant. However, once in a while I believe we should give BBC credit for its vision and desire to build a public service brand that is the envy of every country in the world. At the end of the day, BBC is ours, and it's natural to want it to succeed.