Outgoing BBC Director General, Tony Hall, has said that the BBC has successfully “made the pivot to a new [digital] world.”

Lord Hall was speaking at the virtual Edinburgh TV Festival this morning in his final speech as DG before he is replaced by Tim Davie from 1 September

Hall said the corporation has now “reached the point where for the first time the decline in audiences to linear channels has been compensated by the uptick in our delivery to audiences online and on demand.”

He said that history is littered with companies “that failed to adapt to the digital world. Many great names have fallen. The BBC isn’t one of them” and that the “BBC is in a great position to continue to thrive in the future.”

He pointed to iPlayer handling 4.8 billion requests last year, up 38%. He said that “for the first time, growth is making up for the fall in linear TV viewing. The reforms we’ve been making particularly around the length of time content stays on iPlayer, are paying off. We’re the only place you can get that mix of live and on demand. That’s unique – it sets us apart. And BBC Three has played a massive role – growing new talent, delivering some of our best performing programmes, winning Channel of the Year three times.”

He also pointed to the 49 million now signed in to the BBC: “how we use that data to get closer to them, to make them feel the BBC is theirs, really theirs, is going to be crucial.”

“And all this means that, far from losing touch with young audiences, we’ve really boosted our performance – reaching as many as 8 out of 10 young people. We’re all set to compete with the very best in the global digital age.”

Jon Creamer

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