Friday, November 24, 2006

BBC looking to commission

I spent yesterday morning listening to folks from the BBC New Media and Technology team talking about what the BBC are doing in mobile, and more to the point how you get to talk to them if you want to be part of that.

Getting there involved a horribly early start but eventually I staggered in to the Corinthian in Glasgow for a very welcome coffee and pastry at 0830. The event is one of the series of "Creative Breakfast" events run by the Research Centre - very media centric. As far as I could tell we were the only full on mobile company in the room.

No major surprises on the WAP side - though they did mention they are working on starting to recognise the returning user and customise the layout of the portal according to what is known of their interests. Old hat on the web but not happening very much on mobile yet.

They are still very interested in messaging and think there is plenty of mileage left in SMS services. They mentioned on nice one where you txt "art" to 81010 and get pushed into the correct part of the BBC Power of Art portal based on your location. Simple and effective.

Video is obviously a major area for them - typically based on 30-90 second clips - used both for clips, made-for-mobile mobisodes, and promotional materials - all in support of mainstream TV programmes so far.

Data charges are obviously a major issue for them when it comes to video clips - and they are clearly a little sensitive on the subject. Currently all they can do is stick up warnings on the download pages - until the operators catch up and deal with the issue.

They are also experimenting with using 3G video calls to both deliver video as a stream, and also to capture viewers comments and opinions for use on air.

They were at pains to point out (especially given it was mainly a room full of independent TV producers ;-) that they didn't have resource to commission mobile material as an adjunct to traditional programming - and that would have to be negotiated in the existing commissioning process.

They do however have budget to commission specifically new media based content - though it must involve more than one media - can't be absolutely purely mobile. Anybody interested should go in via their commissioning site.

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