Research has found some BBC viewers believe the corporation fails to report news impartially and feel the corporation is struggling to stay relevant, especially to younger audiences. Media watchdog Ofcom, who conducted the research, found that some audiences even viewed the BBC with “moral dislike” after its decision to scrap free TV licenses for over-75s.
The research looked into audiences attitudes to public service broadcasters, such as the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
The report was particularly critical of the BBC, as it suggested viewers felt the corporation did not present news impartially.
It also found audiences felt the BBC lacks relevance and is viewed more critically by people in lower socio-economic groups.
The report states: “They feel that the BBC lacks relevant content for their cohort, or that there is bias in the news.”PROMOTED STORY.
The researchers also reported on resentment over the BBC’s decision to end free TV licenses for pensioners.The BBC has been shamed in a brutal Ofcom report (Image: Getty)
The report found people feel the BBC has ‘bias in the news’ (Image: Getty)
The move resulted in a minority of viewers from largely poorer backgrounds holding a “moral dislike” of the BBC.
Last year the corporation announced the end to free licences for over-75s, which was set to come into force from June but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The change will now be introduced from August 1, and will affect millions of pensioners.
But the Ofcom report found younger audiences were more likely to be indifferent than hostile to the BBC, despite the generation flocking away from traditional TV outlets.
The research found the BBC is failing to appeal to younger audiences, who are instead tuning into streaming channels such as Netflix which creates programmes with a “talkability factor”.
The report warned organisations like the BBC risk losing younger viewers who are keen to see shows that create a “buzz”.
As a result, the survey found that traditional TV outlets must “work harder” to attract younger viewers who are more easily drawn to streaming giants.
The report said: “Younger audiences are attracted to streaming services… because they easily serve up relevant, personalised content with the talkability factor, supported by strong social media marketing.”
The report found younger viewers are more likely to watch Netflix (Image: Getty)
Viewers also found public service broadcasters, which included Channel 4 and ITV as well as the BBC, “lacked personal relevance” in their programming.
The report suggested this was because new shows are not always widely publicised on social media.
It said: “PSB shows are not promoted as heavily on social media as shows from other services.
“As a result, it can be harder for content to achieve the all-important social ‘buzz’ that would encourage young people to seek it out.”
Netflix and Youtube were found to be the “first port of call” for younger audiences.
But the study did find that viewers still tuned into public service broadcasters for sport, reality TV and soap operas, which has prevented younger viewers from abandoning the TV channels altogether.
A BBC spokesperson said: “This research highlights the importance of providing world-class, easily-accessible and universally available content that includes an impartial and trusted news service, alongside high quality, distinctive UK programming to bring the nations, regions and diverse communities of the UK together.
“Despite huge changes in the market, the BBC remains the most-used media organisation among young people with 80 percent of 16 to 34 year olds using the BBC every week.”