BBC unveils impressive vision for future of iPlayer

The BBC today unveiled its vision for the next generation BBC iPlayer, evolving its popular video on-demand service for audiences in the future. The new service will see it move from a broadcast TV catch-up service to the BBC’s primary digital entertainment destination.

The BBC’s vision for new iPlayer focuses on three key areas:

  • A greater range of content
  • New ways of watching BBC TV shows
  • Innovative new features

In the future, BBC iPlayer will experiment with:

  • Pop-up channels – around specific events or festivals such as Glastonbury, curated by key talent
  • Online channels – such as Radio 1 TV, Arts or Science
  • More exclusive content – building on the success of comedy pilots for BBC Three
  • The ability to create your own evening schedule – with access to more content before it is on TV
  • An extended window to watch increasing from seven to 30 days*
  • Ability to pause and resume TV viewing from one screen to another
  • More relevant and personalised recommendations

Especially interesting, and in line with recent iPlayer exclusives, is the news that BBC will introduce more programming made exclusively for online audiences for much-loved BBC shows like EastEnders, Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing, and themed collections from the BBC’s Archive.

As audiences are increasingly accessing BBC content at a time and on a device that suits them, the BBC will make it easier for fans to watch what they want, when and where they want to, and introduce the ability to pause and resume TV viewing from one screen to another. BBC iPlayer will also introduce the ability to create personalised channels based on your preferences.

“BBC iPlayer is one of the BBC’s greatest inventions and one of the UK’s favourite brands,” says Ralph Rivera, Director of BBC Future Media. “We plan to revolutionise iPlayer from a service primarily used to catch up on BBC TV to an entertainment destination for all – wherever you are. With innovative interactive features and a new design that helps you discover more hidden gems from the BBC, iPlayer will transform online TV for audiences now and in the future.”

Since its launch five years ago on Christmas day 2007, BBC iPlayer has become very popular indeed, with a record-breaking 2.32 billion programme requests in 2012 and 234m requests in August alone. BBC iPlayer is now available on over 1,000 devices and platforms, and in August, over 30 per cent of programme requests were from mobiles and tablets.

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