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BBC Annual Plan: BBC One to target 16-34 year olds

The BBC has made a commitment of making BBC One the new linear TV home for former BBC Three audiences, as part of the broadcaster's plan for the year ahead.

Its new Annual Plan, which forms part of the new legislative framework the BBC now operates under, confirms the broadcaster wants BBC One to "aim to be the channel that reaches the most 16 - 34 year olds", the age group previously targeted by the now defunct BBC Three TV channel. BBC One is also committed to reach more than half of ethnic minority audiences every week during 2017/2018, another audience group previously attached to BBC Three TV.

Meanwhile, BBC Three's new online service has been given the goal to reach between just 5 and 10% of 16-34 year olds each week across its various online outlets. In 2013, Ofcom research revealed the former BBC Three TV channel reached 27% of that age group each week.

The BBC has also announced an additional £34 million in spending over the next three years on children's output across various platforms, in a move to counteract the increasing dominance of US streaming services such as Netflix and a decline in UK-produced children's TV.

In the area of news and current affairs, the BBC News Channel has been tasked at providing a refreshed focus on the UK nations and regions in the evenings, currently dominated by up 1 3/4 hours of world news programming. In the English Regions, a new weekday digital breakfast service is to be developed and targeted at commuters.

Resources will be spent in the nations during the next year on the previously announced BBC Scotland TV channel, a new Wales iPlayer channel and enhancements to BBC Northern Ireland's service, including more resources on weekend news.

Overall, the BBC's plans are part of a drive to ensure the broadcaster's output is more distinct from rival broadcasters, with further focus on personalised delivery of content through MyBBC.

Speaking about the Annual Plan, Sir David Clementi, BBC Chairman, said:
“This Annual Plan outlines how we will strengthen the core values of public service broadcasting for all audiences - first and foremost through the brilliant year of programmes and services that it describes. And it offers a framework against which the Board will be able to assess the performance of the BBC and monitor progress. We are united as a Board in implementing these plans with one voice.”

Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, responded:
“Our ambition to reinvent the BBC for a new generation is our biggest priority for next year. Every part of the BBC will need to contribute to meeting this challenge. In this plan we set out our creative vision and some of the strategic decisions we will need to take to help us achieve that goal. The new funding we’ve announced today for our Children’s services - the biggest investment for a generation - will help us ensure we can maintain our reputation for world-class programmes across our linear channels, but also increasingly offer a personalised online offering for our younger viewers. By keeping our focus on our audiences we’ll be best placed to meet the challenges ahead of us and will ensure the BBC of 2022 continues to serves the whole of the UK.”