Monday 8 October 2012, 14:11
Hello, I am Andrew Scott, Head of Radio and Music and Audience Facing Services here at BBC Future Media. Today we announced the launch of BBC iPlayer Radio, previously known as the Radio and Music Product, and I'm delighted to tell you more about this new dedicated home for BBC radio across PC, mobile and tablet.
With iPlayer Radio, BBC radio is available whenever and wherever you want it, thanks to:
We have been working on this release for a while now, going through a number of iterations from our first release on bbc.co.uk/radio about a year ago and our beta this summer, bringing in more features each time. Our Executive Product Manager, Chris Kimber, has been posting updates throughout the process as the product has matured.
Let's take a look at some of the things that are new:
New smartphone app
We are really excited about the smartphone application. We've worked hard on the user experience, and believe that we've built an application which people will find fun and easy to use, and which we hope is just a great way of listening to the radio. The key features include:
We designed and built native applications for both Android and iOS, intending to release them both at the same time. Today we've released the iOS version, Android will come soon. Learn more about the work we've been doing to support Android here. Until the Android app is released, Android users can continue to use iPlayer Radio on the mobile web. As part of this project we've also made live streams available for iOS devices for all stations. We are also keen to make the on-demand content available for the World Service, Nations and English Local radio stations and have a project in planning to do the necessary infrastructure work.
Radio station homepages
The new BBC Radio 6 Music Homepage
We have launched new homepages for nearly all of our stations, which beautifully reflect the personality of the networks and make it easy for our users to listen live and on-demand. These sites have been exposed to the public as a beta for most of the summer. We've spent that time carefully measuring and working with our editorial partners under Mark Friend to analyse how our users engage with these sites.
We've also updated the mobile websites, usage of which has been increasing steadily: now mobile represents about 18% of our overall usage, with events like Radio 1 Hackney Weekend seeing over 30% of their traffic from mobile devices.
Now we have a platform which allows flexibility and personality for each network, but also encourages users to move between the different network sites. I look forward to building even more on this platform.
New BBC radio homepage
Our new product landing page at www.bbc.co.uk/radio is a deliberately bold move to radical simplicity. We carefully researched the way people use our sites and determined that most visitors to /radio are very task-focused - in other words, they know what they want to achieve and just want the simplest way of achieving that.
So we took these user needs and made them as simple as possible on this page.
These features are so important that we have also made them available on every page of the product through our navigation bar. We are really excited to launch this simple entry point into the amazing richness of the BBC's radio content, and we are looking forward to making this ever more useful for our audiences.
This page is also our first foray into responsive design, where a single response works across all devices. This approach has been pioneered by other parts of the BBC (iPlayer, News) and brings benefits to the users, such as consistent experiences, as well as the development team, in terms of fewer lines of code to write, test and maintain. We plan to explore this further as we move forward, but are really pleased with this first step.
Altogether we are delighted to be delivering the first version of BBC iPlayer Radio, and look forward to your thoughts and comments so that we can continue to make the product better and better.
Andrew Scott is Head of Radio and Music & Audience Facing Services, BBC Future Media
The new desktop BBC iPlayer Radio sites will roll out over of the course of this afternoon, and we anticipate the iPhone app will be available to download for free from the App Store by Tuesday morning.
Join the discussion...
Monday 8 October 2012, 10:30
Tuesday 9 October 2012, 16:41