Simon Nelson’s new commissioning strategy for multiplatform content has been well flagged over recent months. So when he stood to speak, at the BBC’s Media Centre in White City, London, (26 September 2007) he confirmed most of what content producers both inside and outside the BBC had expected.
While short in surprises, Simon’s strategy is massive in both ambition and vision.
"It’s too easy to dismiss the multiplatform opportunity as simply getting our programmes onto new devices or creating websites alongside programmes.
"The lack of a commercial imperative and the privilege of licence fee funding oblige [the BBC] to drive innovation and break new ground in attempting to serve all audiences in the UK … We will be able to liberate our content from the limitations of the live linear schedule.”
Those of us who have worked in non-linear digital media have never resigned ourselves to being a “bolt-on” and Nelson’s dramatic vision for BBC puts interactivity, multi-platform and non-linear at the spearhead of the BBC’s way forward.
What does it mean for the Digital Content industry in Northern Ireland? Recently (and particularly since last week) I have been urging TV producers and digital media/interactive producers need to get to know each other very well indeed. I’ve worked in traditional media for most of my career and in digital interactive for almost a decade. Both parts have a great deal to offer each other. Sure, there are concerns – particularly around rights management. There is a lack of understanding on how all this new fangled stuff works on the traditional side and how that TV thing works on the new media side.
You can go to all the seminars and read all the trade information you like, but there is no substitute for working together to develop ideas. And reading and listening to Simon well developed multi platform engaging content ideas are what he and commissioning editors (not just in BBC) are going to be looking for when it is appropriate.