Tuesday 22 May 2018

BBC announces app as it faces competition for children’s audiences

The broadcaster admitted that it ‘risks being overtaken by competitors’ when it comes to on-demand viewing.

The BBC is facing stiff competition over children's on-demand services (Anthony Devlin/PA)
The BBC is facing stiff competition over children's on-demand services (Anthony Devlin/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The BBC is launching a new children’s app as it faces competition from the likes of YouTube and US streaming services.

In its Annual Plan, published on Wednesday, the broadcaster admitted that it “risks being overtaken by competitors” when it comes to children’s on-demand viewing.

A huge 82% of children go to YouTube for on-demand content, half to Netflix and only 29% to BBC iPlayer.

As part of its plans, the BBC said it will launch an app for six-to-12-year-olds “that will provide a daily diet of inspiring, funny and fascinating facts, as well as enable young users to upload and share their creative endeavours, building social communities around particular passions.”

Children aged five-to-15 now spend more time each week online (15 hours 18 minutes) than they do watching TV (14 hours).

And 43% of 12-to-15-year-olds now use their mobile phone to watch TV.

Rival children’s channels have increased in recent years, mostly from the US.

“As a result, there has been a steady decline in the usage of our children’s services,” the BBC said.

The average weekly reach of CBBC among six-to-12-year-olds has fallen from around 40% in 2011/12 to under 25% in 2016/17.

Last year, the BBC announced an extra £34 million to children’s content over the next three years.

Press Association

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