BBC iPlayer Radio app launched for smartphones

screengrab BBC iPlayer Radio will also provide downloads, clips and social media feeds

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The BBC has launched a new home for its radio content on PC, mobile and tablet.

Known as BBC iPlayer Radio, it combines new homepages for all BBC stations with the on-demand facilities of iPlayer.

A BBC iPlayer Radio app for smartphones has also been launched today and is currently available for iPhones. It will roll out to Android devices in the near future.

The app allows users to:

  • set their alarm so they can wake up to BBC radio shows
  • spin through a touchscreen dial and listen live to any BBC radio content, whether local, network or from the World Service
  • swipe to find catch-up content and videos
  • set programme reminders.

BBC iPlayer Radio, which was trialled over the summer in Beta format, will also provide downloads, clips and social media feeds.

Growth in demand

Listeners' appetite for radio via mobiles and tablets has risen in the last year, with monthly iPlayer requests increasing year-on-year by 56% to 2.8m on mobile, and trebling to 1.2m on tablet.

Daniel Danker, general manager for Programmes and On-Demand, said that BBC iPlayer Radio is "for an audience that expects to access our content anywhere".

"It's also radio for an audience that wants greater choice and control. They want to listen again when they choose, to personalise their listening experience, to share tracks they've discovered with friends."

He blamed complications with Flash for the delay in the Android app, but added that there are discussions on resolving the problems.

screengrabWales All BBC stations now have new homepages

The new app means users will need to download separate iPlayer apps in order to access either TV or radio content.

Danker said this was necessary in order to create apps tailored specifically to the type of content being consumed.

He added other mobile platforms, such as Windows Phone and Blackberry, were not having apps developed yet - but users on these operating systems can still access iPlayer Radio within the web browser.

There are currently no plans to offer the app to international listeners.

Mark Friend, controller of multiplatform and interactive for Audio & Music, said that BBC iPlayer Radio is now "the platform on which we will develop radio stations as fully multimedia brands" so that listeners can "watch, share and engage with BBC radio".

"Our next steps will be to make live radio more interactive, make it easier for people to enjoy the BBC's vast audio archive and strengthen radio's position as the number one place for discovering music in the UK."

More information can be found on the BBC internet blog here.

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