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BBC3 controller promises a bright – and viral – online future from 2016

Parodies, viral videos and more: Damian Kavanagh is ready to take on the internet, with a fifth of BBC3's budget set to go on "new form content" including videos, animation and "authored pieces"

Published: Thursday, 26th November 2015 at 1:10 pm

BBC3 controller Damian Kavanagh says he has ambitious plans to make the channel feel at ease in its new online home when it moves next year.

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While 80% of BBC3's budget will go on traditional 'long form' television – dramas, documentaries and comedies – Kavanagh said that a fifth of the channel's money will be devoted to "new form content", from blogs and videos to picture stories and animation.

The move means that BBC3 is setting itself up against the best the internet can throw at it: YouTube vloggers, Tumblr bloggers, BuzzFeed lists, Twitter comics, Redditors, viral videos, not to mention all the usual streaming rivals like Netflix and Amazon.

But Kavanagh's excited by the challenge.

"It’s this commitment to new form content and how we deliver it that is most exciting," he explained, adding that the channel plans to devote 20 per cent of its overall budget to making it a success.

"Split between our editorial pillars [Make Me Think and Make Me Laugh] this will include short form video, picture led stories, animation, authored pieces, basically any way we can tell a story most effectively for our audience. We will no longer be limited to traditional TV."

Examples he gave included a spin-off interview with Professor Green after his BBC3 documentary Suicide And Me, and a viral parody of the John Lewis Christmas advert.

He added that he would provide a detailed brief to production companies soon: "We will launch new content strands centred on topics that matter to young people like relationships, online life, crime and health," Kavanagh said.

"These are in development but we will issue a detailed brief to independent production companies very soon detailing what we are looking for and how to pitch ideas," he added.

However, Kavanagh also said he wanted to involve new talent and young people to help test ideas and inspire new content, and aimed to recruit a group of young people who wanted to get involved.

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"This group will consist of unheard voices and digital creatives who can create content that relates to their lives and the issues that matter to them. We will be launching a recruitment campaign very soon. Watch this space."

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