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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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BBC leads the way in children's technology as CBeebies iPlayer launches

Screenshot from CBeebies iPlayer

The BBC today (Friday 8 May) announces the launch of CBeebies iPlayer, part of the BBC's commitment to deliver creative and engaging content to audiences in new and innovative ways, and put parents in control of their children's viewing.

The specially designed child-friendly BBC iPlayer offers children six years old and under the chance to watch many of the programmes they love, from Aardman Animation's popular new series Timmy Time to Charlie And Lola and Kerwizz at a time which suits the whole family.

Designed to be a shared and flexible online experience with parents, the new service follows the launch of the popular CBBC iPlayer last year for six to 12-year-olds. Through the CBeebies website, the service provides a dedicated place on the internet for the BBC's youngest viewers to view BBC children's programmes on demand.

The service is designed to restrict inadvertent access to non-children's programming and puts children's viewing priorities first. Most programmes will be available to view for a week after broadcast with some available for up to 13 weeks as "series catch ups".

The award-winning BBC iPlayer has received over 414 million requests to view BBC television content (TV streams and downloads) since its launch in 2007.

While a significant number of requests each day for CBeebies content are received via the main BBC iPlayer, requests to view BBC Children's programmes are expected to increase with the new service. The CBeebies website reached more than one million unique users in the UK during the first week of February 2009, a record for the site, and the new service is expected to be a winner with parents.

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. The new service follows comprehensive user-testing, with 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.

The BBC iPlayer extension for CBeebies is just one of a number of new and enhanced services being introduced for young viewers this year, with exciting developments coming soon to the CBeebies Red Button service.

Pressing Red on the CBeebies channel will take viewers into a new and enhanced interactive area mirroring the content on the channel, as well as brand new games featuring CBeebies favourites In The Night Garden and Green Balloon Club.

CBeebies radio is also set to launch later this year on the Red Button service, as well as a new grown-up section containing useful information for parents.

The new design features an easy to use "carousel" making the interactive service simple to use for all ages, and will now be tailored to optimise the performance on whichever platform the viewer is using ie Sky, cable or Freeview.

Erik Huggers, Director of BBC Future Media and Technology, said: "The children's BBC iPlayers bring the flexibility of on-demand viewing to the BBC's younger viewers to a more familiar environment – designed specifically for them. We are constantly innovating to improve our audiences' experience of the BBC's first-rate children's programming, and hope CBeebies iPlayer will be a hit with parents and children alike."

Richard Deverell, Controller of BBC Children's, said: "Children live in an on-demand age and with the launch of the new BBC iPlayer designed for the under sixes, children can now watch some of their favourite programmes whenever they want and parents have greater flexibility and freedom to choose what their children watch and when. This is why I am so delighted that we are launching the CBeebies iPlayer and I hope it will significantly increase the public value we deliver to this important audience."

To access CBeebies iPlayer, either:

1. Go to the CBeebies website and click on the iPlayer link shown there.

2. On the main BBC iPlayer site, when playing a CBeebies programme, a link to the same programme on the CBeebies iPlayer site will be offered.

3. You can access CBeebies iPlayer directly at bbc.co.uk/iplayer/cbeebies.

Notes to Editors


1. The main BBC iPlayer 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 CBeebies' output is currently available on BBC iPlayer and this will remain the case with the introduction of the CBeebies iPlayer. This is the equivalent of an average of 35 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 six-year-olds and under. The BBC iPlayer extensions have the same remit.

6. The CBeebies channel has been streamed live on the CBeebies website since September 2008 as part of an evaluation term, 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 online iPlayer only and does not include views on TV iPlayer (via Virgin Media).

8. The CBeebies website recorded a reach of 1,074,551 unique UK users between Sunday 1 and Saturday 7 February 2009. This is the highest figure for the website since the current measurement system began in 2005. The website consistently performs strongly, regularly reaching over 900,000 UK unique users per week.

9. BBC Red Button is a digital platform that brings interactivity to the TV set. While many people know it as an evolution of Ceefax, in addition to text information such as news and weather it enables bespoke interactive content including games for children, and interactive content around some of the most popular BBC television and radio shows and events.

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