Advanced Television

Colin Mann features in new book on future of BBC

July 23, 2020

The leading B2B telecoms analyst firm Omnisperience has announced that Colin Mann, its subject matter expert for the media industry, has written a chapter in a new book entitled ‘The Generation Game’, edited by Michael Wilson and Neil Fowler, which tackles  key questions faced by the BBC and other broadcasters.

  • Can the BBC attract the under 30 generation?
  • What does this generation want and value?
  • What technology changes are required to support them?
  • Will they pay for content?
  • How do they wish to pay? Is ad-supported content the way to go, or is pay-per-view or subscription better?

Mann’s Chapter, ‘A Tik Toking clock heading towards regeneration – or not?’, reveals the findings of a digital workshop attended by Generation Z viewers. In particular, it focuses on the payment model for the BBC – currently an annual licence fee paid by households consuming live content – and explores the views of young people on this and other ways of paying for content.

According to respondents, the current ‘television tax’ is unsustainable and the ‘big stick’ backing it up (criminal prosecution) is counterproductive. For a generation that expects and respects choice, compulsion isn’t an attractive model. But Mann goes further – exploding common myths about Generation Z.

They are not, he says, a generation of content pirates seeking to avoid payment; but expect to pay for what they use. This generation has a respect for copyright owners and believes creators should be rewarded. This is partly because they are creators themselves and partly because of the many copyright education workshops they were forced to attend due to YouTube violations when they were younger.

That said, they see content as additive which means that while they are willing to pay for the content they use, they also want to play with it. Authenticity and balance emerge as valued components of content for a generation that can spot fakery at 100 meters. But they don’t like to feel patronised and feel the BBC is “run by teachers” whereas rivals such as Tik Tok and YouTube “are more like the playground”.

‘The Generation Game’ is published by Bite-Sized Books, and features contributions from a range of leading media industry commentators as well as Baroness Nicky Morgan, Daisy Cooper MP, Chris Matheson MP and Keith Brown MSP along with broadcasters Mark Curry, Sarah Greene, Kirsten O’Brien, Peter Purvis and Anthea Turner, with an introduction by Mike Read. It is available from Amazon.

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