BBC introduces iPlayer controller role

iPlayer grab BBC iPlayer had 234 million requests in August

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The BBC has created a new controller role to oversee iPlayer as a "fifth channel".

Danny Cohen, director of television, said he wanted the online service to have the "same status and value as a linear channel".

"In essence, it becomes our fifth channel, creating and sharing content alongside our linear services."

He added that iPlayer was "an increasingly important part of the way viewers enjoy our content".

In his first major speech as BBC director general, Tony Hall recently said he wanted iPlayer to be "the best online TV service in the world - and the front door to many people to the whole BBC".

Online premieres

The service, launched in Christmas 2007, had 234m requests in August, up 19% on the same time last year.

It will premiere more BBC shows prior to their debut on traditional TV channels, following the success of Bad Education, which had more than 1.5m iPlayer requests before it started on BBC Three.

The controller role will be advertised soon, with the occupant overseeing exclusive content for iPlayer and reporting directly to Cohen.

The new controller will also work with the general manager of Programmes and On Demand (POD), who is responsible for the technological delivery of iPlayer and Red Button.

Previous incumbent Daniel Danker left the POD role, which had a £246,650 salary, earlier this year to join media company Shazam. He has been replaced by Salford-based Roux Joubert in an acting capacity until a permanent replacement is confirmed.

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