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Localise & personalise news: BBC’s James Montgomery

The digital age has seen consumers move from traditional forms of print and television to consuming content on the web, primarily mobile web. Media publishers across the globe have acknowledged this trend and are tweaking their distribution strategy to suit the audience of the digital age.

James Montgomery, Director of Digital Development, BBC News and Current Affairs shared the principles of BBC News and how they are reaching global audience in the digital age. BBC News saw its online audience grow with 80 million unique browsers. Going forward, it seeks to further multiply the numbers and digital is expected to guide the growth.

BBC’s reach is amplified on social media such as Twitter with over 14 million followers globally and it ranks among the most engaging news channels on social media. Access to social media has shrunk the time lag between the occurrence of the event and reporting which is increasing the competition among publishers. “Internet is making faster news possible,” Mr Montgomery added.

“Social media is also giving rise of new formats of reporting which include visuals, long form writing, etc. Such innovative formats have made news more engaging,” added Mr Montgomery. Among others innovations, BBC has also launched BBC Trending which is focuses at gathers news from varied sources.

BBC is seeing almost half of its traffic coming through mobile and tablets and tracking the trend it will be launching an app that will filter the content and make it more local and personalised. In UK, the app has already seen 1.8 million downloads with 1.1 million combinations. “Bring audience to the real story,” Mr Montgomery said is the key to successful new reporting.

In India, the Hindi edition of BBC currently enjoys an audience base of 5.5 million which is projected to grow at the rate of 140 per cent annually, added Mr Montgomery, on the sidelines of the event. Therefore, marketers can unlock a new set of opportunities with regional and localised content. BBC Hindi is making news more personalised for the user in India.

Media publication, brands and advertisers cannot ignore the importance of digital media and its role in reaching consumers across the globe. Media publications need to step up not in terms of content but distribution as well.

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