Category Archives: BBC

Mobile a Big Success in Record Year for BBC iPlayer

Mobile now makes up a quarter of all iPlayer traffic after a 177 per cent increase in smartphone and tablet usage during 2012. For the first time in its history, PC traffic made up less than half of all visits, 47 per cent, in December. Along with mobile, connected devices, including games consoles and smart TVs, make up the remainder.

The iPlayer app has now been downloaded 14m times, including 300,000 on Christmas Day alone. Mobile downloads of BBC programmes have proved a massive hit, with 10.8m downloaded to iOS devices since the service launched in September. They have quickly taken a 6 per cent share of viewing on mobiles and tablets. The majority of viewers download programmes at 10pm and watch them on the way to and from work at 7.30am and 5.30pm, the BBC has found.

Record usage

2.32bn TV and radio programme requests and 36.5bn minutes were consumed across all platforms during 2012. This is 34 per cent more time spent watching iPlayer than ever before. December continued to be the most popular month, with a record 217m requests for TV and radio programmes, a 23 per cent increase on 2011.

2013 has had a strong start, with 6,732m requests for TV programmes on January 1 alone, the most ever seen in 24 hours. The Olympic Opening Ceremony topped iPlayer viewing, followed by Top Gear and Sherlock.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/mobile-big-success-record-year-bbc-iplayer

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Send in the Clown- ‘Up for Hire’ at AOL

My time in the spotlight on BBC3’s ambitious first live show ‘Up for Hire’ was certainly an eye-opener. A crash course in how not to rise through the ranks. Not exactly how I imagined doing it, but who needs dreams when you’re unemployed, right?

It hopefully wasn’t ‘a once in a lifetime opportunity’ as I struggle to get the first step in my real 40 year climb up the ladder. And I promptly got a lifetime’s experience, made 40 years’ worth of mistakes in just three weeks.

Which was tough.

In many areas- management, delegation, negotiation- I did not have confidence in the skills I have. I was terrified of getting it wrong. And I learned an awful lot.

We are Tony’s children- lavished with ‘education, education education’, promised that ‘things will only get better’ all by a man obsessed with his legacy.

But how would he reflect on this?

We were promised jetpacks.

When it was decided 50 per cent of young people should go to university, we all ‘raised our aspirations’.

But where was the clear national strategy on what would happen afterwards? Wouldn’t it be novel if when you finished training, you could get a job and were well-placed to do it?

Despite the biggest democratisation of education we have ever seen, social mobility has gone backwards and we do not have enough people skilled in the areas demanded by our changing economy.

Or at least there aren’t the jobs there for one million young people looking for work in the UK today. The highest number since records began.

What we decided when we were 14 dictated what we could choose to do when we were 16 and 17. When we were children in the eyes of government.

Had we been advised on the future jobs market, we would all be international business people, working in green technologies or launching our own 21st century start-ups.

We had high expectations. Unfortunately, there isn’t much received wisdom.

The lives of many of our senior politicians read something like a manual of ‘how to get a quick win in politics’. Come from money, go to a top school, go to an elite university, work as a political junior, bam. Sometimes I wish I’d been in the loop!

You don’t learn much from winning all the time. Without mistakes, how would we know what we had to work on? And this becomes all the more clear as our self-governing politicians appear constantly in breach of the rules.

They have 20, 30, 40 years on us and are still making classic errors.

Feeling empowered to speak is something that never really gets a mention. But what is it that makes some people compelled to put their hat in the ring?

I met a girl who was going to Oxford. I was jealous. Until she said they actually just teach you how to get a first, not how to think for yourself. But they can’t half talk.

This, amongst many others, is a basic skill that everyone leaving school should have, are we giving it to them?

I ended up leading a group of young people through a spelling challenge with some Year 11s up north. E-a-s-y. Easy?

They immediately dismissed the exercise- one girl was going into hair and beauty- to which I tried to explain that she would still have to fill in forms, and generally communicate… Deaf ears.

We compartmentalise education- if you do English, you won’t need maths. But your education builds the whole foundation for your life, you never stop learning, it doesn’t finish at school.

Here, I was reminded of Jamie’s Dream School ‘Bored’, ‘Don’t know how to listen’, ‘Not disciplined in their thinking or behaviour’ ‘Too high an opinion of themselves’.

Hm.

I know a lot of bright young people. And there are nearly one million without work. This is a shame. We are keen, hardworking and somewhat unpolished. But isn’t everyone when they start out? People speak fondly of a time when young people worked hard and got jobs. What’s changed?

We are modern consumers and as such we should be as picky about the courses we choose as we are about the clothes we wear and the places we go out. If employability is your goal, then choose wisely and demand better.

Why are we selling courses in Mickey Mouse to the people who will run the future if they don’t give you something to take away with you?

If young people aren’t ‘ready for work’- graduates or non-graduates- that is a problem. Languages, sciences and business skills are all in demand- if we need more skills, then we need jobs, training and mentoring.

Free work isn’t the same as having a job- with varying levels of responsibility and support. We are also competing with experienced people for vacancies and it’s almost understandable that can’t win.

Right now, many young people are being paid to do nothing, and the longer that this is the case, the more of a drain we become.

I am a good graduate who studied at a reputable university for the job I wanted to do. I have done internships, applied for further study and even tried to make it on my own.

If my participation has to raise awareness of a complex but very helped real problem for our society, then I am very glad and the producers should be congratulated.

But we were promised jetpacks, so where are they?

If you are interested in joining a discussion on the future- including youth unemployment- Occupy London are hosting ‘Occupy Half-term’ from 2-4pm every day this week at St. Paul’s in London which aims to give young people the opportunity to develop skills and get information. There is also a family fun day on Saturday.

Choose Youth are inviting young people to lobby parliament against cuts to youth services this Tuesday from 11.30-4pm. There is also a national student demonstration on 9th November, supported by the National Union of Students.

Be the change.

Haiti- six months on, what can we really expect?

First published for Oxfam at http://tinyurl.com/353xb8w


Americanisation is often seen as damaging to other nations’ cultures.

But the US’s influence on what the world considers important can only have helped Haiti after the earthquake six months ago.

Hundreds of Haitians have escaped poverty for fame in the United States, as sports stars, models and musicians.

And with the island’s close proximity to the superpower and the sheer force of the disaster, fundraising happened on a massive scale.

But half a year on the BBC has begun asking whether stalled progress, shown by news outlets here, will deter such a concerted response in the future.

Why so little progress?

Before the earthquake, Haiti was one of the poorest countries in the world.

Nearly half the population did not have access to clean drinking water, 86 percent of people in urban areas lived in slums and 83 percent of people had inadequate access to toilets.

Less than half of the 2.8 million people living in the capital Port-au-Prince had access to electricity.

Social services were similarly poor, with many children not attending school, 38 percent of the population over the age of 15 illiterate and unemployment at 30 percent.

No amount of aid, especially in a crisis, can change the structure of a country overnight.

Disaster

The death toll of 222,570 means there are hundreds of thousands of people still experiencing grief, hardly great circumstances to face rebuilding their lives.

Another 300,000 were injured, and presumably family members are now caring for them, another, often invisible drain on human energies.

One and a half million people are living in temporary housing- tents, corrugated iron and tarpaulin- amongst the 19 million cubic meters of rubble from the collapse or damage of 188,383 houses, 3,978 schools and 30 hospitals.

A quarter of the civil service were killed in the disaster and government buildings were destroyed- the very people and resources necessary to co-ordinate the clean up.

So will it deter response?

For people to give, they must appreciate the extreme circumstances that a natural disaster presents- it could happen to any of us- and go into it with the knowledge that rebuilding large areas of a country takes time.

Adding to that the context of poor infrastructure, which increased the scale of destruction, means time for planning a useful and permanent build is equally understandable.

True picture

To make sure that people are not deterred from giving in these kinds of situations, coverage must be balanced between holding donors to account with showing what progress has been made.

Having raised $90 million, Oxfam is helping more than 440,000 people gain access to clean water, sanitation, education, shelter, and support for livelihoods.

Stories are still coming out of families surviving against the odds to become reunited.

But Jean Renald Clerisme, a presidential adviser, claims that less than 2 percent of the aid pledged has been received.

A BBC news report showed a church group digging themselves out of the rubble.

Is this community empowerment, or an example of a lack of help from the outside world?

With expensive foreign news bureaus closing, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to get a true picture of the world.

Ultimately the BBC has the pleasure of being founded in a country that doesn’t experience emergencies of this scale.

Maybe, all things considered, six months is too early to ask.

What do you think?

Recession- Extraordinary Times- We Need To Seize The Opportunity

First published at http://www.pluto-online.com/?m=200903&paged=4


These extraordinary times. Her voice echoes out from the TV screen. A news reporter is gravely explaining the next victim in an ever-lengthening line of businesses- banks- queuing for Government hand outs.


AIG has reported the biggest loss in American corporate history. So, the biggest financial loss in world history.


Capitalism, the world, as we know it, will never be the same again. We have been flung, bleary-eyed and naked into the future. We have been crawling, and now we need to run.


Will Gordon Brown come into his own? He met Barack Obama this week, “the world’s biggest celebrity” the BBC reports.


You can’t help but worry that the U.S will work unilaterally. But I have every faith in Obama. And the right tone of Britishness cannot be underestimated as a tool for negotiation; style and grace.


Of Brown then, I am not so sure. He was the champion, one of the main protagonists, in creating a system that has ultimately failed.


The Sun and the Daily Mirror lead with the Jade Goody story. Not that it isn’t happening. But minute by minute coverage is sick in many ways.


There is so much other news. Important, meaningful, even scary news.


Barack Obama’s stimulus package is the biggest thing that is going to be attempted to fix all of this. Who else is offering answers? This is what needs to be happening, but we need more, we need it here.


HSBC have actually made a profit and yet they have still ‘lost’ 70 per cent on last year. Just how much money were these people gambling with?


The fate of the car industry is gloomy. People are being priced out of their cars, although this could be the making of our public transport system.


The 16-25 rail-card is a steal. But low prices need to be seen on all public transport. People need to be able to get to the places that are important to them cheaply, safely and comfortably. People will walk, our workforce will become active.


And jobs need to be created, ones that we haven’t even thought of yet. If the culture of motoring is going to survive, arguably whether it even should, we need to make cars environmentally friendly, cheap, and these improved car companies need to be employing people.


We need innovation in industry, construction and education. We need to create jobs to make the things that we need, we need people doing what they need to be doing. A report stated that many children’s medicines are now ineffective. Why wait for someone else to change this when we have the bodies, the people willing and able to work?


Communities are shattered. People are empty.


But hark, all is not lost, there are little gems of brilliance glinting on the horizon.


The Vicar of Preston is one of those treasures.


Progressive and engaging, he stood confident and glowing. He explained the basics, or rather, the packed schedule that comes with his job.


He is on 43 committees, meets with the council and leaders of other faiths, and ultimately engages people in the community. He is fighting against the tide, and still getting things done.

He works a 101 hour week.


Vince Cable, of Liberal Democrat fame is talking economic sense. Well, he’s on the news sometimes. The Liberal Democrats certainly aren’t speaking loud enough. And the opposition lies silent.


The Treasury Select Committee is debating failure, whilst backbenchers speak out on everything from education to alcohol tax in Scotland.


These people are making things happen, and others should follow suit. Or crow what they are already doing.


We have the world on our shoulders, and we all need to share some of the weight.