The BBC Trust has launched a review of the corporation’s services for teenagers, focusing on BBC Three, Radio 1 and 1Xtra. The Trust, the BBC’s governing body, is required to review every BBC service at least once every five years.
The review, which launches today (September 23), will also consider the BBC’s online output, such as its education and learning resources and youth portal, BBC Switch.
As part of the review, the Trust will open an online public consultation, which will run until December 16 and will be promoted through BBC services. Rival broadcasters, producers and industry bodies will also be consulted along with BBC managers and staff.
Previously, the BBC has been criticised for squeezing the commercial sector, suggesting that some of its youth output does not meet the terms and conditions of its licence.
In May, the outgoing GCap Media chairman Richard Eyre called on the BBC to privatise Radio 1 and Radio 2 and put more money into online initiatives aimed at young people. He questioned the “appropriateness” of spending almost £100m a year on the two mainstream national stations when the licence fee was under pressure.
Former Endemol chief creative officer Peter Bazalgette has also suggested that mainstream stations such as Radio 1 should be privatised.
The consultation will focus on a number of areas including whether the BBC is reaching young people through the various media outlets, when and where they should be and whether younger audiences see the BBC’s output as different from other providers.
The Trust expects to publish its review in the spring.