<b>Jim Egan</b>, Chief Operating Officer, BBC Global News
TV advertising remains a powerful medium. Our efforts with regions with a localised approach and tailored content should help us tap the market further. Increasing audience engagement will also be key. We will work with our clients on ad formats and targeted ads. Innovative content distribution over digital platforms, better video experience for users, and consistency of experience across our platforms will help us on the distribution side as well.
TV advertising remains a powerful medium. Our efforts with regions with a localised approach and tailored content should help us tap the market further. Increasing audience engagement will also be key. We will work with our clients on ad formats and targeted ads. Innovative content distribution over digital platforms, better video experience for users, and consistency of experience across our platforms will help us on the distribution side as well.As Chief Operating Officer of BBC Global News, Jim Egan takes full strategic and financial responsibility for the business, overseeing relationships within the BBC and externally with advertisers and distribution partners for the BBC’s commercially funded international news platforms BBC World News and bbc.com/news. Egan joined the BBC in 2007 and most recently served as Controller, Strategy and Distribution for BBC Global News, where he was responsible for setting corporate strategy for the BBC’s international news services and for the distribution of radio, TV and online content to the BBC’s global audience.
In conversation with exchange4media’s Abid Hasan, Egan talks about restructuring in BBC Global News, India-specific content, digitisation and te importance of digital media. Q. BBC Global News is also looking to leverage the rapid growth in mobile users. How are you going about it? How are you looking to tap this growing TG?
Q. With digitisation also comes a more selective audience. What can we expect from BBC in terms of content specifically targeted at the Indian viewers?
We do a weekly ‘India Business Report’ that picks up business news and issues from India similar to shows such as ‘World News America’ and ‘Focus on Africa’, which look at those regions. Our South Asia Bureau is based in New Delhi and news of international interest from India will always find its place on our networks. As part of our programming strategy, we may run country based programmes, for example, we did an India Direct season at the end of 2011, where the whole week’s programmes were focused on India. India’s increasing global relevance will automatically reflect in the coverage on our channel, but we are conscious about letting it remain open and spontaneous.
Q. Following the restructure last September, what have been the significant developments in BBC Global News?
The channel now has a brand new look and feel, with virtual reality capability and full HD production. It will make use of three studios, including the largest studio in the building, which will be the base for the channel’s flagship daily programmes such as ‘GMT with George Alagiah’, ‘Impact with Mishal Husain’, ‘Global with Jon Sopel’ and ‘Focus on Africa’. The studio has seven cameras and the set is designed to accompany a variety of different programme styles.
Q. Where does India fit into BBC’s new scheme of things? What can we expect from BBC Global News as far as India is concerned?
We believe that we have a special place in the hearts of the Indian audiences. They are very important to us and we would like to hold that space. It is to ensure that we keep playing to our strengths in India that we have appointed a COO in the market. She will be working very closely with us to explore ways to retain and expand our audiences. News delivery on digital platforms will be a focus for us, along with our loyal viewers on the channel and attracting the youth to our offerings.
Q. India has embarked on the process of complete digitisation. How do see digitisation benefitting BBC? How does this impact your distribution set-up?
Q. What are the focus areas for BBC Global News in 2013? Where is the growth primarily going to come from?
Growth markets for us will definitely include Asia. There will be concentration on our digital strategy. Our efforts will be to try and stay ahead of the curve. Our new brand campaign – Live the story represents our brand ethos – demonstrates our dedication to the whole story and our unrivalled on-the-ground newsgathering presence, it connects audiences with the world by relating events to people and drives and conveys dynamism.
Q. Growing revenue from advertising and channel distribution are among your top priorities. What steps is the BBC taking to ensure that these meet the organisation’s goals?
Innovative content distribution over digital platforms, better video experience for users, and consistency of experience across our platforms will help us on the distribution side as well. We will also work with our affiliates to provide value added services.
Q. In the Indian market, what would be the major avenues for revenue for BBC?
Q. Digital media can no longer be ignored? How is BBC Global News leveraging digital and social media? What specific steps are you taking to remain relevant in the digital world?
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