BBC distinctiveness report

17 July 2017

Ofcom is now responsible for holding the BBC to account for the delivery of its mission and public purposes. The BBC’s mission is to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain. Its five public purposes are:

  • To provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them
  • To support learning for people of all ages through helping people learn about new subjects in a way that they will find accessible, engaging, inspiring and challenging
  • To show the most creative, highest quality and distinctive outputs and services
  • To reflect, represent and serve the diverse communities of all of the UK’s nations and regions
  • To reflect UK values to the world through high quality, accurate and impartial news to international audiences

The context in which the BBC operates is changing rapidly. Viewers now have more choice than ever before and are consuming ever more content on-demand and online. Younger people, in particular, are embracing online and on-demand services and watching increasing volumes of content off-schedule across a range of devices. As a result of these changes there has been a shift in audience perceptions regarding the BBC, and the other public service broadcasting providers (PSBs). Research was therefore necessary to understand the public’s priorities given this changing environment.

Qualitative findings

Ipsos MORI was commissioned to undertake qualitative research to explore the public’s views of the BBC, and their views on the BBC’s public purposes, with a particular focus on distinctiveness.

Full report

BBC distinctiveness report - conducted by Ipsos MORI for Ofcom (PDF, 954.5 KB)

Quantitative findings

Ofcom stated at the time of publication of the qualitative findings that this would be followed by further quantitative research specifically designed to quantify audiences’ views and priorities relating to distinctiveness as detailed in Schedule 2. This document gives a summary of the key findings from this second phase of distinctiveness research

Full report and data tables

BBC distinctiveness research: quantitative findings - conducted by Ipsos MORI for Ofcom (PDF, 2.0 MB)

BBC distinctiveness research: data tables (PDF, 3.9 MB)