Alan Yentob urges BBC to make their output more like social media

Alan Yentob urges BBC bosses to make their output more like a social media platform to lure in younger audiences

  • Former BBC1 controller Alan Yentob said BBC should act more like social media 
  • Said it should be more of ‘playground’ like Youtube where young talent emerges 
  • Encouraged BBC to open up arts and culture archive to inspire young people  

Alan Yentob has urged the BBC to act more like a social media platform in the way it engages with younger audiences.

The former BBC1 controller and creative director said it was well-used but should ‘learn some lessons about the future’.

Mr Yentob, 73, who is still a presenter, said: ‘The BBC needs to behave a little more like Instagram or Twitter in the way that those platforms reward curiosity with unlikely connections and then take you on a journey.’

Writing in Radio Times, he added that the BBC should be more of a ‘playground’ like YouTube where young talent can emerge. 

Mr Yentob also encouraged the broadcaster to open up its arts and culture archive to inspire young people.

Alan Yentob has urged the BBC to act more like a social media platform in the way it engages with younger audiences

In film clips from the 1930s, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are shown dancing on furniture in the same way featured in modern hip-hop videos, he said.

The presenter said this content from the past should be easily accessible to younger audiences.

But he added it should be recommended by people of a similar age to them.

Mr Yentob said content from the BBC’s archive could act as a bridge between different generations and bring people together.

He said the corporation needed to bring in the younger audience without disregarding older loyal listeners and viewers.

The BBC is desperately trying to attract younger audiences, after many have been lured away by US online giants like Netflix and YouTube.

The corporation is also competing for the time of youngsters with social media services like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Mr Yentob also encouraged the broadcaster to open up its arts and culture archive to inspire young people

Mr Yentob, 73, is the presenter and series editor of BBC1 arts show Imagine.

He has enjoyed a lengthy career at the corporation having served as controller of both BBC1 and BBC2 as well as director of programmes and director of television.

He left his role as creative director of the broadcaster in 2015 following the controversy over his involvement in the charity Kids Company.

Mr Yentob told the Radio Times the BBC should adapt to the shifting online world by ‘behaving a little more like social media does’.

He said: ‘In some ways, YouTube is a sort of playground where new talent can emerge.

‘The BBC, increasingly, has to make sure that it’s also a playground where young people can come for modest sums of money to try out things and experiment.’

He added: ‘It also needs to behave a little more like Instagram or Twitter in the way that those platforms reward curiosity with unlikely connections and then take you on a journey.

‘The way they say, “I know you love this, but did you know how great this is?”’

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