22 BBC How Big Data Is Used In The Media


The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) are one of the world’s largest media organizations and, as a public service broadcaster, have a relatively unique remit to operate without funding from advertisers.

This stipulation in their charter is designed to enable them to operate free of corporate interference. However, their licence-fee-based structure also gives them some freedom to innovate, as risks can be taken when commissioning programming when you don’t have to worry about attracting big advertising bucks.

Where they do not differ from most other large media organizations, however, is in their wide-scale adoption of Big Data and analytics technology. As a large proportion of the BBC’s output is now digital, through their iPlayer and BBC Online services, they are generating and collecting ever-increasing amounts of data and using it to tailor output to their audience.

What Problem Is Big Data Helping To Solve?

In their native market, the BBC have a remit to produce content that will be of value – defined as content which either “educates, informs or entertains” by John Reith, the corporation’s first director general.

Internationally, they operate a little differently, through their BBC Worldwide arm, which uses advertising to generate revenue, and in this market they compete with private-sector broadcasters and news media.

This means that the problem facing the BBC is fundamentally the same: how to produce content ...

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