BBC new media and technology director Ashley Highfield has unveiled a five-pronged strategy aimed at ensuring the corporation meets the Government's objective of providing a "trusted guide" for consumers making the transition to digital media.
The five prongs—managing 'legacy' products such as the BBC's news site; moving audio-visual assets into the on-demand space; incorporating user-generated content; commissioning innovative formats; and developing "world-class navigation ? not just to the BBC's content, but to all Great British content available on the web"—will result in a range of new services allowing users to "find, play and share".
Highfield told New Media Age that 'play' was best exemplified by the integrated media player (iMP). Last week Highfield said a four-month trial of the iMP involving 5,000 triallists had demonstrated that "the internet could revolutionise broadcasting, and prompt a wider, cultural shift in television consumption".
Highfield said 'find' involved recommendation engines and social community software. "We'll be overhauling our search service to make an absolute step-change in next-generation navigation across the web, mobile and iTV," said Highfield. "This is a massive project in its own right."
'Share' involved next-generation web formats which allow users to blend media content with their own and share with other users. "Enabling our audiences to go online to create their own BBC space where they can submit content is also a massive project," said Highfield.
"All of this is very much a long-term strategy, but by looking at it in terms of find, play and share, what I want to do over the next 18 months is to get the first products well on their way."
Highfield said the iMP—which requires the approval of the BBC's governors, soon to be replaced by the BBC Trust, before rolling out—would be followed by the next-generation search service, combining "all the core, traditional skills of the BBC with the power of a search engine like Microsoft's".
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