We have a lot to thank BBC 3 for. Largely, in my opinion, because it brought us Little Britain and Gavin and Stacey. So as BBC 3 yesterday took the plunge into the solely online world, I had my doubts.
BBC 3 Controller, Damien Kavanagh, described the move as a “necessity”, but what does it mean for the future of television? In an attempt to be ahead of the curve in behavioural changes the platform has rid itself of its television presence and moved solely online. So, we should ask ourselves, will this mean less choice for viewers or more? And is this the beginning of the end for television as we know it?
The move was described by BBC 3 as its attempt to be “ahead of the game”, after all, television was once a ‘push’ medium leaving viewers with very little choice to what they could view and when. But it has slowly changed to the exact opposite. With BBC 3’s move to its online home, we are now in complete control of what we watch, thanks to on-demand services. What does this mean for viewers wishing to discover their own programmes? How will people discover the next Gavin and Stacey? On the other hand, maybe this is the new way of discovering programmes? Is this the new ‘channel-flicking’? Will BBC 3’s move online simply make it just ‘another website’ in an already over-crowded space?
Damien Kavanagh’s response to this was rightfully pointing out that Cuckoo, a BBC 3 programme, is currently the third most watched programme on iPlayer. Although this does go some way in convincing me that the perhaps inevitable move online still allows us to discover new and exciting programmes, I think I join the 300,000 people who signed a petition to keep the channel broadcasting on television.
My questions continue, now BBC 3 is online, what does this mean for the watershed? Responding to this, the bosses at the top have reassured us that strict guidelines will still occur with parents being able to set pins for their children. But what about for those children who are one step ahead of their parents in the technological field? Will it be easy for some children to bypass these regulations?
Television is no longer television as we know it. It is now a constant flow of programmes, where we no longer have to watch a specific programme at a specific time. Whilst I am sure in the long run, this will prove to be a brave, bold and successful move for BBC 3, right now, the move has left me with more questions than answers.
Oliver Sonenfield, Account Executive