BBC3 will be at the centre of our online revolution says director-general

Tony Hall promises cutting-edge technology and to hire more digitally savvy staff as he outlines ambition to turn BBC into an internet giant

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Director-general Tony Hall has said that the channel’s proposed move online will be the centrepiece of a “myBBC revolution”, which will see the BBC move away from being a traditional broadcaster.

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In a speech today outlining the Corporation’s future, he also announced that the BBC would be recruiting more staff to assist BBC3’s move online.

“Because of [the BBC3] proposal we will recruit new types of experts and learn new tools and techniques, to make the online programmes, new formats and content that will mean BBC3 thrives online and doesn’t just live there,” he said.

BBC 3’s controversial move online is currently on hold pending a decision by the Trust, with the interim adjudication expected in June and the final decision expected in October. The Trust has told RadioTimes.com that 23,000 people have submitted comments about the proposals.

In his speech, Hall sought to appease critics of the move with a warning that “younger audiences are using linear channels less than their parents”, adding: “There’s real jeopardy here. If the BBC doesn’t address these challenges, we could become irrelevant.”

As RadioTimes.com reported this morning, Lord Hall also promised “far-reaching plans” for digital expansion after this May’s general election regarding the use of people’s personal data, and online recommendations to enable “the audience to become schedulers”.

More details are expected to be revealed post-election but he sketched out the policy shift today with a promise of new digital services.

“We’ll give you personalised recommendations on the iPlayer and homepage. We’ll recommend news and sports stories just for you. We’ll give you your own BBC app, which will remember all your favourite programmes, artists, music, interests, DJs and sports teams. All in one place.

“We’ll notify you when new series arrive, matches start, interviews are aired, road traffic builds up, or news breaks.

“Wherever you are. And without ever having to restart. So you can start on your smartphone or tablet, and pick up where you left off on your laptop or TV.”

Speaking afterwards to RadioTimes.com, Hall said that the use of data would be done in a “benign” way and pointed to the crucial difference between the BBC’s use of personal information and the practices of commercial competitors.

“We are not trying to sell anybody anything,” he said.

Read more: What does the Future of the BBC report actually mean for viewers?

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Read more: The BBC needs to become an internet pioneer says director-general