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What is love?

Philip Almond

Director, Marketing and Audiences

I am Director of M&A, or Marketing and Audiences to those not familiar with BBC acronyms. I lead the audience team that looks at how we can make what we do better and the marketing team that tells you about what we are doing. I’m also part of the team that is delivering myBBC, an initiative that will give you more from the BBC in a digital age.

Today is a small first step in that journey. 

What is love?

Love, actually, is all around us. It’s on Tumblr and Instagram, Wikipedia, Flipboard and Pinterest and from today we have our own version of love, computer love.

We’ve put a heart icon on all browser versions of BBC iPlayer and all TV & Radio programme pages that will for the first time allow you to instantly love a programme.

What’s love got to do with it?

If we know what you love we can give you more of what you love. It's that simple. There were a record 343 million requests to BBC iPlayer last month and millions more used; all of whom could be telling us which shows they love. This information is a valuable resource and can inform what we do which helps us give you more.

In time we want to recommend content to you that is relevant to you. If you loved Bake Off on BBC iPlayer or A Cook Abroad on its programme page we might then direct you to a recipe on BBC Food or a clip from The Food Show on BBC Radio 4. We're not there yet but this is a first step. 

Are you experienced?

We also make choices based on what people recommend. To help you choose what to listen to, read and watch we will start curating what experts, famous faces and opinion formers love at

Now that we've found love what are we going do?

From today we’ll do two things.

We'll ask you to sign-up for a newsletter that will…

  • highlight loved shows you might have missed to catch-up on
  • show you what experts, famous faces and opinion formers love so you can discover more
  • point to what you might love next week, so you don’t miss out
  • keep you informed about what’s going on across the BBC

We will also direct you to  to discover...

  • Collections of loved programmes from TV, radio, online. 
  • Collections of loved programmes by genre - from across TV, radio and online.
  • One-off collections by theme - from across TV, radio and online. We can create these on any topic we want like jazz, baking, tech, postmodern architecture.
  • Collections of programmes from famous people, experts and opinion formers.
  • Our most loved clips
  • Social comments about what you love. 
  • Social comments from famous faces and opinion formers. 
  • Press reviews like this

All this is to help you discover more of what you might love.

How deep is your love?

If you love something we want you to let it show and share what you love with family and friends - on social media, in the pub, wherever you might be. You love it, you think they might love it, and it helps them discover more. On top of this it helps us to find out what people love, helping us give you more.

What are the ingredients of love?

Like love, it’s complicated. We're combining a range of “quantitative and qualitative data” to make recommendations. We’re starting off using data we have - audience info, ratings, online data, social media - and the heart button. You can’t hurry love. We’ll learn as we go and develop what we do over time. To begin with the range will be quite broad, but over time as we develop it will become more personal to you.

We’re not replacing traditional methods, nor will love be used as the only metric of a programmes’ success. Our aim is to help you discover more, by showing you hidden gems you might have missed as well as programmes you didn’t know about.

Will you hold it against me?

We want to encourage you to share what you love so your friends and family can see what you love and enjoy it too. But, if you don’t want to you don’t have to. Everything we do will adhere to our strict privacy policies, which means everything you do is safe and private. You can read more here -

All You Need is Love

To encourage people to use the heart and and tell us what they love we put together a campaign which brings to life the passion people have for shows like Match of the Day, Strictly and The Proms. We’ve tried to demonstrate the range of what we do, which isn’t easy considering we reach 97% of the UK each and every week and make everything from Poldark to Bitesize, Fire in the Booth and BBC Food.

The track used needs no introduction but did you know the Beatles first performed All You Need Is Love on the BBC in 1967 for the world’s first satellite link up?

It’s because this track has such a strong link to the BBC we thought it was a perfect match to support this campaign. But we also wanted to bring it right up to date which is why we asked Rae Morris to record a version. Rae was discovered through BBC Introducing so she was the perfect choice. I am sure she will go on to have an amazing career just like the other artists that got their break through BBC Introducing.

New friend request

And finally, we will be keeping you up to date via @BBC on Twitter – where we will highlight everything we do across TV, radio and online. It’s another way for us to help you discover more of what we do.

I hope you find these pages useful, you discover more, and if you do love something, let it show. Somebody somewhere will love what you love.

Philip Almond is Director, Marketing and Audiences

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