Ashley Highfield, the BBC’s head of future media and technology, touches on some of the corporation’s plans for cross-platform content in this lengthy Q&A with FT readers.
— He said there are only a few good examples of the BBC’s vision of 360-degree media at the moment but that cross-platform programming needs to be planned at the commissioning stage. “We must think creatively as to how our audiences want to consume our content: via bbc.co.uk or via YouTube? As whole programmes or atomized and re-aggregated around their interests?”
— The BBC won’t replicate YouTube or MySpace but will work with those sites. Highfield mentioned ideas like broadcasting Radio 1’s One Big Weekend on Second Life, and using Flickr to post audience photos.
— He reiterated director general Mark Thompson’s statement that the BBC should be “as small as our mission allows” and said it would be important to get the audience to contribute by information and program metadata.
— On the BBC’s ambitious video and archive, Highfield said the project will demand great navigation that would be a generation on from Google Video. “It will require awesome metadata, great social software and recommendation engines, and clever cross promotion from our linear channels if we are to really unlock the hidden gems.” Using current technology and rights frameworks for the archive might be “prohibitively expensive,” he said. “We’re hoping to fundamentally re-engineer parts of the process.”
— And the license fee (which has been called “the least worst way to fund the BBC”) enables the corporation to be the “creative R&D for the nation”.
Related: BBCi’s New Approach To User Content: You Do It, We’ll Link To It
Edinburgh TV Confab: BBC’s Director Of Vision Talks Convergence
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.