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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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BBC iPlayer for children launches

Screenshot from CBBC iPlayer

This Christmas the BBC is to offer younger viewers their own version of BBC iPlayer that allows them to watch shows they love on-demand in a specially designed child-friendly service.

Designed for children aged 6 to 12, BBC iPlayer for CBBC – BAFTA Children's Channel of the Year – gives children the chance to choose when they watch programmes such as Blue Peter, MI High, Sarah Jane Adventures, and many other shows they love.

Through the CBBC website, children will access BBC iPlayer and be able to view for a week after broadcast a selection of programmes in an area sectioned off from other channel programming. In addition, some programmes will be available for up to 13 weeks as "series catch-ups" (stacked).

The service, due to launch today (Friday 19 December), is an extension of the award-winning BBC iPlayer which has received more than 250 million requests to view BBC programmes since its launch last year.

Designed especially for children, this new service provides a dedicated place on the internet for the BBC's young viewers to view CBBC's innovative children's programmes.

The service will restrict inadvertent access to non-children's programming and provides a dedicated area that puts children's viewing priorities first.

Richard Deverell, Controller of BBC Children's, says: "The iPlayer for CBBC is central to fulfilling our ambitions for CBBC as it enables us to provide programmes for children whenever they want to see them – not just when we choose to schedule them. Children already live in the fully interactive and on demand world and this important launch means CBBC can be there for them."

Anthony Rose, Controller, Vision and Online Media Group, says: "Over the past year we made BBC iPlayer available on a wide range of mobile phones, portable media players and gaming consoles, allowing our audience to experience BBC iPlayer programmes around the house and on the move.

"However, we realise that a lot of those devices are primarily available to adults, so today we're pleased to unveil a version of BBC iPlayer specifically for children."

There are a significant number of requests each day for CBBC content on the main BBC iPlayer.

Following comprehensive user-testing, the design – produced by a combined team of children's interactive experts from BBC Vision and video-on-demand specialists from the BBC's Future Media and Technology division – has been specifically optimised around how children navigate the web in a different way to adults, relying more heavily on visual cues rather than text navigation.

The BBC's Children's department is a leading exponent for child-safe internet products that reflect the concerns of children growing up in Britain today and works extensively to promote home-grown content.

Following a soft launch of the new service, the BBC iPlayer for CBBC will be supported by an on-air marketing campaign in February 2009.

A second stage of the launch of the new children's services is planned during the first half of 2009 with the provision of BBC iPlayer for the CBeebies audience – designed as a shared online experience operated by parents focusing on programmes for children under six.

You can access iPlayer for CBBC in one of these ways:

  • Go to the CBBC web site (bbc.co.uk/cbbc) and click on the iPlayer link shown there.
  • On the main BBC iPlayer site, when playing a CBBC programme, a link to the same programme on the iPlayer for CBBC site will be offered.
  • You can access iPlayer for CBBC directly at bbc.co.uk/iplayer/cbbc.

Notes to Editors

1. BBC iPlayer already incorporates industry-standard guidance labelling, allowing parents to make informed choices about potentially challenging content as well as the parental guidance lock. This safeguard allows parents/guardians to "lock" potentially challenging guidance-labelled content, which may then only be accessed by first inputting a user-defined password. This new release is designed from a child's perspective and works irrespective of whether parents have set the password protection system.

2. Approximately 40% of children's output is currently available on BBC iPlayer and this will remain the case with the introduction of the CBBC and CBeebies extensions. This is the equivalent of 80 hours a week which includes a mix of first run series and repeats.

3. The majority of key titles will be available for seven days after showing, with some series available in their entirety (series stacked) until seven days after the last episode is transmitted (up to a maximum of 13 weeks and in accordance with permissions and approvals granted by the BBC Trust).

4. To keep the user experience as simple as possible programmes will not be available to download. However, they will be available in the normal way for download from the main BBC iPlayer site.

5. The BBC operates two services for children. CBBC is for 6 to 12 year olds and CBeebies is aimed at 6-year-olds and under. The BBC iPlayer extensions will have the same remit.

6. The CBBC channel has been streamed live on the CBBC website since September 2008, further fulfilling the BBC's commitment to increasing the accessibility of content to licence fee payers.

7. The total "request to view" figure for BBC iPlayer refers to PC iPlayer only and does not include views on TV iPlayer (via Virgin Media).

8. Access details for the iPlayer for CBeebies site will be made available once the site has been launched, currently planned for the first half of 2009.

9. According to a recent Childwise survey of 1,000 5 to 16 year olds:

  • 90% have a PC at home
  • 36% have their own computer or laptop
  • 76% access the internet at home (85% access to the internet at all)
  • 42% access internet at school
  • 23% have access in their own room

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