BBC Three
BBC3 is being switched off and will only be available onlineGetty

The BBC has confirmed rumours that its youth channel, BBC3, will be taken off air by February 2016 and moved online. It will accessible via computers, smartphones and tablets following trends of fewer young people watching TV in the living room.

A BBC Trust blog post said the BBC wants to move with technology. An overhaul of the channel was announced in December 2014, where it stepped away from traditional content.

"When BBC3 launched in February 2003 YouTube, Spotify, Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix, Sky+, Tinder, chip and pin, Periscope, One Direction and Oculus didn't exist. Nobody had Wi-Fi, broadband, flat screen TVs or tablets," the post read. "The Nokia 1100 was the world's best-selling phone."

The move is expected to free some £30m ($45m) in funds, which the BBC has promised to invest in its drama budget. The broadcaster said it realises new technology, with 90% of 16-24 year olds owning a smartphone, means new developments in its company.

Research firm Enders Analysis found the amount of under-15s watching TV regularly fell by 22% between 2010 and 2014. Among 16 to 34-year-olds, a 15% fall in TV users was found.

In December, BBC3 moved to the iPlayer and changed from an eight-hour channel to 24/7 viewing. The broadcaster has made a distinction between traditional viewers and young people enjoying content.