(Pocket-lint) - It has been known for more than a year that the BBC planned to change BBC Three from a broadcast channel into a zone on BBC iPlayer, but the BBC Trust would always have the final say.

Now it has approved the proposal and the changeover from a broadcast channel will take place on 16 February when it becomes BBC Three Online.

Some long form programming that would normally be available on the TV channel will be broadcast on BBC One or BBC Two instead, but the rest will be available on demand instead of shown in traditional, linear fashion. There will also be plenty of new shows.

Damian Kavanagh, Controller BBC Three says: "It's the same award winning programmes freed from the constraints of linear TV, and because we're freed from the schedule we can use whatever format and platform is most appropriate. The majority of what we will make is TV, like People Just Do Nothing, but we'll make short form video, blogs and picture led stories as well. We'll be on YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook and our new site The Daily Drop."

What to expect from BBC Three on iPlayer only

The BBC Three channel will be shifted from a nine hour a day proposition to a 24 hour one, although it will make less long-form programming than it does currently. The BBC plans to focus more on just two pillars; comedy and serious factual.

It was explained that 80 per cent of the new budget of BBC Three – around £30 million – will be spent on long-form programming, while 20 per cent will be set aside for innovative digital projects. Some of the interactive content will be based on the regular programmes and some will be stand alone new material.


The new BBC Three website will be designed to work as well on tablets as it does on computer. Short form content will also be spread around social media networks, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Hopefully, said Danny Cohen, director of television at the time, it will drive people back to watch the long form programming on its own platforms.

On 16 February night there will be episode one of the new series of Cuckoo, the first film from the new series of Bafta winning Life And Death Row. There will also be Live From The BBC, with "some of Britain’s best new comedians".

The BBC does expect a drop off in audience figures initially, but believes that the repeated shows on BBC One and Two will take up the strain, as well as the launch of new BBC +1 channels on Freeview and paid TV services, which it claims are watched by a younger audience so fits BBC Three's current 16-34 age demographic well.

What new shows will BBC Three Online offer?

New shows outlined by the BBC so far include:

Green Door Pictures, Idris Elba's company, will create short films with new and established actors.

Love triangle will create eight films, each of eight minutes, from the Bafta winning series Life and Death Row. 

New drama, called Cirque, about two Edinburgh student's lives becoming more and more complicated after starting university.

Life Hacks with Ben Hart show his magic shared with unsuspecting members of the public. 

Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared is a new format. Alys Harte and Bronagh Munro investigate the real-life disappearance of a teenager twenty years ago.This story will be uniquely told using a variety of formats, including video.

Black Power follows up KKK: The Fight For White Supremacy. This documentary sees creator Dan Murdoch revisit the USA and meet the Ku Klux Klan and Black Panther movements.

New Stacey Dooley documentaries on attitudes to sex and prostitution in Turkey, Brazil and Russia and a new short film about the New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne.

Writing by Rik Henderson and Luke Edwards.