Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s Director of Content, recently delivered the 2018 Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture to an audience of leading players from the British media. Her speech highlighted some of the most significant challenges currently facing the BBC and proposed potential solutions to ensure the broadcaster keeps up with new media giants while maintaining its core values.
The lecture placed a strong focus on providing young British storytellers with a platform to inform, educate and inspire the BBC’s broad spectrum of viewers.
Here at Hook, we are always following and predicting the latest trends in the world of media and so we’ve compiled our 3 Big Takeaways from the lecture:
Championing creative-led storytelling in a tech-led market
Moore stressed the enduring importance of a powerful story in the evolving media market. She criticised online subscription services like Netflix and Prime for relying too heavily on big data – she noted that this blanket approach to storytelling sacrifices creativity for the sake of globally-accessible content. Instead, she said the BBC should encourage creative risk-taking and quality storytelling to triumph over some of the data-reliant and unoriginal content of the SVOD services.
Nurturing young, home-grown and diverse talent
The BBC should display fresh British stories that reflect the diversity of the UK, according to Moore. She warned against US dominance in the global and British TV markets and argued that the BBC needs to appeal to younger audiences who now have a ‘limitless world of choice’ in order to remain relevant. This appeal will come from representing the greatest talent the UK has to offer and empowering diverse British storytellers to create captivating original content that younger viewers respond to.
Promoting purpose-driven content
During her speech, Moore opened with an anecdote from Blue Planet II about an endangered species in the Arctic. She argued that Blue Planet II helped to start a national conversation on the environmental crises affecting our oceans and announced a new Blue Planet Live series that will air in 2019. The BBC wishes to continue to lead the conversation on climate change as Blue Planet unveils the destructive effects of plastic on sealife. Moore claimed that the documentary series has already brought together audiences of all ages in their millions to promote environmental awareness through an emotional connection with wildlife – and the BBC aims to keep up the momentum of its environmental campaign with the new series.
Overall, the BBC is grappling with an increasingly crowded and versatile media market and Charlotte Moore’s fascinating insights at the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture shed light on the organisation’s plans to differentiate itself from SVOD services by amplifying the voices of unique and diverse British storytellers. The BBC aims to position itself as a hub of original British content with a significant online presence in order to combat the onslaught of data-driven, exclusively digital shows. Whether it be Blue Planet II or Killing Eve, Three Girls or Bodyguard, the broadcaster wants to tell compelling stories that engage younger audiences and showcase diverse British talent.