The BBC to become ‘creative catalyst’ for digital programmes

BBC director general Tony Hall

BBC director general Tony Hall

The BBC aims to become a “creative catalyst” that will help the market for digital programmes grow, according to director-general Tony Hall. 

Speaking at the Technology Innovators Forum at the BBC’s Broadcasting House yesterday, Hall said that the BBC’s recently-announced plan to open a BBC-branded store for digital copies of the corporation’s programmes would open up access to BBC content like never before.

“Just 10% of the public service content commissioned by the BBC finds its way onto commercial platforms like Amazon and iTunes. We are going to overcome this barrier to the success of British creative producers,” said Hall.

Referring to the BBC Store he added: “This is a great story for UK audiences and a great opportunity for the UK creative sector to find new ways to sell their programmes.”

Discussing the BBC’s role in stimulating the UK’s creative industry, Hall dismissed claims that the corporation has stifled talent and used its market weight to crush entrepreneurial innovation – arguing that it does the opposite.

“The BBC acts as catalyst for creativity. It acts as a great place where people meet and spark off each other. A great place to incubate ideas and spread them,” said Hall.

He added that the BBC helps “create a competition for quality which raises standards for all our audiences.”

Speaking on stage, Hall also announced plans to offer more opportunities to young people, pledging that 1% of the public service will be made up of apprentices.

“That’s 170 apprentices in all – 170 people coming in to the BBC and being given the skills to join the industry. And remember that this means the skills not just to join our workforce, but also independent TV and radio and digital companies,” he said.