The BBC Newsbeat website and app are [expected to close in the next 12 months](This is what's happening with Newsbeat online), with their respective output to be migrated into the main BBC News platform, the broadcaster announced today (17 May).
The measure, which is subject to regulatory approval, is part of a more extensive list of BBC initiatives that will be closed or scaled down in a bid to save the broadcaster £15 million online.
Almost a year ago, in June 2015, Newsbeat unveiled its first mobile app, an extension of its efforts to better reach its target audience – young people.
The launch of the free app followed a revamp of the Newsbeat website earlier that year, which focused on issues and topics of interest for young people: mental health, student issues, entertainment news and social trends.
Also to close are BBC's Food website – but not BBC Worldwide's Good Food platform – and the online BBC News Magazine, among others.
At the time of publication, more than 80,000 people have signed a petition against the closure of BBC Food on Change.org.
Emily Jones, publicist for BBC News and Current Affairs, told Journalism.co.uk Newsbeat will continue to cater to a young audience in tone and format, but the content will be accessed through the BBC News website and app.
Jones also said a "considerable part" of Newsbeat's current audience is already coming from the main website, although no specific figures were provided.
To confirm @BBCNewsbeat site is being integrated into the main news site - ensuring its youth stories reach even more young people online.— Louisa Compton (@louisa_compton) May 17, 2016
The plan is to make @BBCNewsbeat at the heart of, and central to, the main BBC News site - more stories reaching a wider young audience.— Louisa Compton (@louisa_compton) May 17, 2016
The BBC has explained its online output will focus on six areas in particular in the future: BBC News, BBC Sport, BBC Bitesize and the soon to be released iPlay aimed at children, iPlayer and iPlayer Radio, the BBC Ideas Service, and BBC Live.
The announcement come less than a week after the government published its white paper with proposed changes for the broadcaster in its next charter period, which commences in 2017 and is expected to run for 10 years.
The proposals reinforced a need for more distinctiveness in BBC output compared to its market competitors, after public surveys showed almost half of BBC One's audience find its content "quite similar" to that of ITV1.
Free daily newsletter
- Four years on, BBC Local News Partnership is a success
- Tip: A BBC journalist's guide to working in podcasting
- Licence fee, accountability and overseas opportunities central to BBC's future
- Newsrooms choose collaborative approach to protect journalists from online trolls
- How to make the most of mentorships throughout covid-19