BBC Three drama strand will show exclusively on iPlayer

iPlayer screen grab The BBC has commissioned original content for iPlayer

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The BBC is exploiting the success of iPlayer by commissioning a BBC Three drama strand that will be shown exclusively for the platform.

The six original short films will be shown later this year and will be directed and written by young talent, including some that have come through BBC Writersroom.

It also pits the BBC against some of its new competitors, including subscription service Netflix, which is making its own original content for online audiences only.

House of Cards, its 13-part political drama series, was released in its entirety to online subscribers in early February. A second series is already in production.

New competitors

Daniel Danker, the BBC's iPlayer boss, told Ariel last month that the corporation has to be aware of its new competitors in the online marketplace, the likes of YouTube, LoveFlim, Netflix and Amazon.

He warned that they will all soon start to make original content for the web, with the intention of streaming films and television series.

His warning comes as YouTube announced on Thursday that it has surpassed one billion regular users every month.

'These companies are thinking very quickly and the difference is when the BBC rolls out programmes, we do so in the UK.

'When they roll out programmes or content, new formats and technologies, they happen globally. So you have seven billion people in the world who can contribute new ideas,' Danker said.

Last year the BBC showed a Doctor Who spin-off miniseries called Pond Life, some comedy pilots and archived BBC Four content exclusively for iPlayer audiences.

Pond Life proved to be especially popular, receiving 5m requests on iPlayer.

Victoria Jaye, head of TV online content, says the new strand announced on Friday will 'bring original British drama to audiences online, and explores storytelling outside of a scheduled TV slot or duration'.

Last month the BBC Trust approved a 12-month trial that will see selected BBC television shows broadcast online ahead of their scheduled TV transmission.

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