BBC iPlayer Radio Launches

Monday 8 October 2012, 13:03

Mark Friend Mark Friend Controller

Radio broadcasting in the UK will turn 90 later this year. It has remained in rude health through a combination of content and technological innovation. Earlier this year, Radio 1's Hackney Weekend 2012 and the Radio 3 Proms showed how BBC radio stations are becoming fully multimedia brands that provide not only a great listen but are increasingly visually and socially engaging.

2012 has also seen a step change in the number of people listening to and watching our content on mobiles and tablets. For example, during the week of Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend, 34% of browsers visiting the site came via mobile and tablet. In the week when traffic to the Proms site peaked, 20% of browsers accessed the site via tablet. Last month saw an 88% year-on-year increase in reach to our mobile optimised sites. This was anticipated by the overall strategy for BBC Online announced in 2011.

Today we've launched BBC iPlayer Radio. It brings together iPlayer and the radio station sites to create a new BBC home for radio within iPlayer across PC, mobile and tablet.

You can find BBC iPlayer Radio by:

  • Visiting any BBC radio homepage on PC, mobile or tablet (e.g.
  • Clicking "Radio" in the main BBC navigation bar.
  • Downloading the BBC iPlayer Radio app (freely available from the Apple store at launch, other mobile platforms to follow).

See Andrew Scott's blog post for details about the new features that you'll find in iPlayer Radio. This video shows key features of the smartphone app. As always, we welcome your feedback.


In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content

Key features of the new BBC iPlayer Radio smartphone app, freely available.

BBC iPlayer Radio provides a platform on which we will be developing radio stations as fully multimedia brands. So that as well as listen, audiences can watch, share and engage with the BBC radio content they love.

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


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  • rate this

    Comment number 41.


    I'm Paul Murphy and I'm the editor of the Radio blog. Here are the first set of responses to your comments:
    @Steve Brammer @Alan Robertson @matthew_paine @thefatbaker @organum and others
    There have been a number of comments since yesterday evening on the availability of an iPlayer Radio Android app. As Mark says in his blog above the iPlayer Radio mobile app is available from the Apple store at launch, other mobile platforms to follow.
    We designed and built native applications for both Android and iOS, intending to release them both at the same time. A key piece of software (Adobe Flash) was recently removed from the Android operating system causing problems with the way we stream audio and video on Android phones. We are working hard to solve this issue but it means that the Android version of the iPlayer Radio app will be delayed by a few months.
    Users of Android and other smartphones can still enjoy an excellent BBC iPlayer Radio experience on their phones via the browser site - simply visit on your phone's internet browser.
    See for full information on using iPlayer Radio on mobiles.

    @Carrot Muncher @ Paul East and others
    Users of Android and other smartphones can still enjoy an excellent BBC iPlayer Radio experience on their phones via the browser site - simply visit on your phone's internet browser. A dedicated app for Android will launch shortly. See for full information on using iPlayer Radio on mobiles.

    @ Robert
    @Fred Hart is correct. Your internet radio streams will not be affected by this launch.

    You can listen to BBC iPlayer Radio outside the UK. We often have to restrict access to some programmes to UK users only. For instance, we only have the rights to broadcast certain sporting events in the UK - not worldwide. These include Premiership football matches, local radio football commentary, and Formula One Grand Prix. The launch of iPlayer Radio does not impact on these rights.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    Hello again,

    There's an interview on Cnet's gadget blog with Daniel Danker ("Android apps delayed by Adobe and fragmentation, says BBC"). Daniel's the general manager for on demand at the BBC and he talks at greater length about developing for Android. It's worth having a look at:

    Thanks all

    Editor of the Radio Blog

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    I agree with Organum: the BBC has made a mistake by choosing a specific commercial platform for its first offering, especially a platform that is as blatantly opposed to openness as iOS.
    My second comment concerns the usabilty of the new site. I find the design confusing; it lacks focus on what I, as a user, would want to do. The circular tour provided by the arrows could easily have been presented under a simple hierarchical menu (or something) which would have been easier to navigate.
    My final comment relates to quality of service. Despite the fact that I have an Olympic-legacy fibre-to-cabinet BT Infinity internet service, and I'm only trying to listen to what's on now, the feed still hangs or cuts out on a regular basis - interruptions can occur several times daily. Shouldn't the money have been spent on increasing the bandwidth rather than this not very successful attempt at window-dressing?

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    I listen to Tunein radio on my iPhone, having downloaded the app, and with that I can hear any national or local station anywhere in the world. Frankly this stuff from the BBC is all a waste of money and too unimaginative.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    expat is good way of keeping in-touch

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    I have no idea what android or any other technical term is. All I want is a simple, easy to navigate and easy to understand website with items I can easily find and one not written in techno jargon. I am getting on a bit and don't really understand why all of these changes which never seem to really make anything easier keep being rolled out. This change comes on the fairly recent back of another and that wasn't easy to get round - please BBC keep it simple and keep it understandable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    Since radio is just an audio feed, would it be possible for you to configure the mobile version of radio player to be able to run without having to connect to wifi?

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    Sorry, but this app isn't good enough for me and for the many others around the world who listen (regularly) on catch-up... OK, I can now listen live on my mobile and tablet, which I couldn't do before, but I can't always listen to the programmes at their scheduled times... looks like I'll have to keep carting my laptap around the house for the time being :(

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    I just do understand why the BBC is so focused on the ios - There are probably just as many subscribers to Android and Blackberry - licence payers too - and we are continually fobbed off with promises of future developments.
    Come on BBC - this is just not good enough!

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    Hi #48 ShellsyBee

    I'm not sure what you mean. Are you listening to Nations (ie Scotland or Wales) or local (eg BBC Newcastle) which weren't available on mobile and tablet until a few weeks ago. The iPlayer Radio app isn't available to download outside the UK at the moment but will work if you download it in the UK and then go abroad.



  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Sorry, but I still think this new look is rubbish. I've given it the best part of the day, and it just lacks so much the previous incarnation had. Where's all the useful and interesting info such as what the 6music album of the day is? Can I go back and use the old site please?

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    I listen in Italy and France - Well done BBC for a good service - I agree that my Blackberry should be able to link to BBC I await this event hopefully soon!

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Can you please amend this blog so that we can see the NEWEST comments first.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    All this talk about iPhone and Android, what about older systems such as Windows Mobile?

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    So what was so difficult about being able to click on a button marked 'listen live'? I haven't a clue how to listen live via my PC now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    Not available through Canadian iTunes - guess I'll just have to continue using "Listen Again" through my PC.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    The previous iPlayer worked perfectly on my BlackBerry Tablet OS2.1, and on our two BlackBerry smartphones until about three weeks ago - which was presumably when the bbc-geeks started migrating to the new, dead system. Now, all we get on any of them is the dumb message "media selection request failed" - no explanation, no action recommended, nowhere to go ... just get lost!

    This situation is an absolute shambles, too many bad apples rotting away in the bbc amidst their decomposing brands I reckon, and the iphone 5 with itsbattery eating habits and "normal" dents and scratches leading the way. Could the bbc at least restore short wave to us before the lights go out?

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    On further examination, I cannot even access the app, because it depends on iTunes, which will not work on Linux. (After nearly 40 years in computing, and plenty of experience of MacOS and Windows, I've found myself using Linux for everything. ) So I won't be trying the app anyway.

    By contrast, the Android app downloader does not care what OS you are using - it works with Linux as well as MacOS and Windows.

    Shouldn't the BBC, as a publicly funded service, enable access for all? Instead of preferring the open, free (in the copyright sense) choice, the BBC chooses to push its users towards the closed, proprietary systems, whether Flash, iOS or Microsoft! I don't accept the glib answer that 95% of users use Mac or Windows - an organisation with the resources of the BBC should be capable of offering standards-compliant, non-proprietary solutions that anyone can access and use.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    I'm not really surprised, as the BBC have plugging Apple's offerings for quite some time in many different ways. Main news items showing the launch of the latest iPhone (who gives a damn?) or those poor misguided fools queueing for hours to get this months latest version of the iPhone et al., "Podcasts" (BBC-speak for downloads) and so on. Quentin Cooper, presenter of Radio 4's Material World welcomes all who download the programme as "Pod-people" who are listening to the "Pod-gram". How much is he being paid? I'm sure we all have examples. When I've discussed the BBC radio downloadable content with others, I've received a reply more than once of them not having an iPod. They clearly thought that they needed an iWatever to listen. Will the BBC plugging Apple ever change?

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    No sign of it in the apple apps on an iPad. Where is it?


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