Digital Media

The BBC spends big to win kids back from YouTube and Netflix

The UK broadcaster is making "the biggest investment in a generation" in children's services to combat the influence of "West Coast American companies".

The Johnny and inel Show

"The Johnny and Inel Show", one of the kids' shows on the BBC.

BBC

On the day the USA celebrates winning independence from British rule, the UK's publicly funded broadcaster is fighting the influence of US online companies on British children.

The BBC today announced in this year's annual plan that it will plough £34 million (around $44m or AU$58m) into children's services over the next three years, described as the biggest investment in a generation.

The broadcaster is responding to the way children watch and consume content on services like Netflix, YouTube and Amazon in the online era, with plans for continued online video and podcasts to support broadcast shows, plus interactive stuff like quizzes, games and apps.

The plan will also insure that kids are seeing the UK reflected on their screens. "Investment in British content -- particularly for the young -- is vital," says the BBC, "unless we want more of our culture shaped and defined by the rise of West Coast American companies."

Home to internationally successful shows such as "Doctor Who" and "Top Gear", the BBC is funded by a license fee paid by all TV owners and iPlayer users in the UK.