Has BBC Three's Move Online Been a Success? | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Has BBC Three’s Move Online Been a Success?

Abbie Pease looks at whether BBC Three's move to the digital world has been successful

Fitting with the ever - increasing digitalisation of television programming, BBC Three moved online in February of this year. As the channel will be moving its headquarters to Birmingham by 2018, it is important to weigh up its popularity and current success.

The world of television is moving into the digital age. The BBC has recently embraced this shift, moving it’s BBC Three channel online. Although taking time to warm to the idea of an internet world of television, the government funded organisation has taken the leap, following in the footsteps of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other successful online television streamers. Despite already running iPlayer as an online domain through which audiences can catch up on their favourite TV, this move marks the first of BBCs purely online channels. An unfortunate push encouraging the move was the cut of BBC Three’s budget from £85 to £30 million. Instead of focus on this aspect of the move, it is more crucial to consider whether BBC Three’s shift online has enabled it to thrive, and whether we shall be seeing more channels taking the digital leap in the years to come.

BBC Three can be credited for flourishing in its new form

BBC Three is the most inspiring and forward thinking sector of the BBC, representing diversity and producing television focused on real issues that young people are currently facing. As well as airing a range of captivating documentaries, the channel is becoming known for its dramas and comedies centred around social taboos. BBC Three is the organisation’s most innovative channel; geared predominantly towards the younger generation of viewers. This focus fits with its move, as the online world is more modern and in demand. A recent report issued by the Childwise Monitor Report claimed that young people now spend more time online than watching television. Considering this, it is understandable that the channels content now averages more than 7% of iPlayer requests, up from 4.5% before the move. A recent influx of views for BBC Three confirms the popularity of shifting into the digital arena. Thirteen, released in February, received 2.4 million requests on iPlayer.

Despite being pushed online as a result of funding issues, BBC Three can be credited for flourishing in its new form. Since its creation in 2003, the channel has progressed from the likes of Snog Marry Avoid to a range of educational documentaries covered by presenters such as Stacey Dooley and Reggie Yates; a shift that is very telling of how far it has come. BBC Three's move online has indeed been a success. For the broadcasting of television, I am certain that in the years to come we shall see a gradual move online.

History and Politics student, TV editor


8th November 2016 at 9:00 am

Last Updated

7th November 2016 at 9:42 pm

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