The BBC recently did something revolutionary for a 93-year-old media company. It dropped its channel-based television and radio divisions and reorganized itself around “content and audience-led divisions.” Basically, it will have two main divisions – BBC Entertain and BBC Inform – which themselves will be made up of new divisions, such as BBC Youth and other audience-focused groups.
Now, does this mean that you won’t be able to watch BBC on that thing that is connected to the coaxial cable on your wall? Or does this mean that you won’t be able to listen to the BBC on that box that connects to radio waves? Or course not. The BBC is simply recognizing that the lines between device and service are blurring more substantially than ever.
Before digital, of course, the lines were so clear that no one even considered the possibility of them blurring. The device defined the service, and the service defined the device. TV, for example, was both the device used to consume the content and the kind of signal used to deliver the content. People eventually differentiated between delivery methods – “cable TV” or “satellite TV” or “digital TV” – but the device was the device. TV signals (and programs) went to a TV. Radio signals (and programs) went to a radio.
TV teams created TV experiences. Radio teams created radio experiences.
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