NewFronts ’19: BBC News ‘Clicks’ with Interactivity

Taking a page from the Netflix show Bandersnatch, BBC Global News said it is using the same object-based media technology to make interactive news programming.

At its NewFront presentation in New York Monday, BBC Global News said that 2018/19 was its best year ever in terms of profitability. Ad sales and distribution revenues were up 4%, with U.S. ad sales up 16%.

BBC said its Click technology series will be using object-based media to let viewers customize news content according to their preferences. For its 1,000th episodes, which will appear later this year, Click is creating a full-length, branching narrative episode that allows for personalization, localization and variable depth of explanations for different levels of knowledge.

“We believe it could be the future of factual programming,” BBC News said it its announcement.

Other items announced at the NewFront include Project Songbird, which creates audio versions of all BBC News online articles; new verticals The Future Sound of Music, Future You and Discovery, and new series The Future of the Past and the 20/20 Project.

BBC said it will have expanded coverage women in sports and will mark the 20th anniversary of the loon landing.

“BBC News is proud to show the ways that our history of innovation have continued to grow and change, helping to keep the BBC one of the world’s most trusted and most innovative global news organizations,”said BBC Global News CEO Jim Egan. “From voice to interactive digital storytelling, how we measure the effectiveness of what we do, and more, our teams all over the world go to work every day looking for new ways to utilize the latest technology. Our announcements today demonstrate our ambition and drive to be the best news organization in the world and an essential commercial partner.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.