BBC unveils new vision for the BBC iPlayer of the future

With innovative interactive features and a new design that helps you discover more hidden gems from the BBC, iPlayer will transform online TV for audiences now and in the future.”Ralph Rivera, Director, BBC Future Media
Date: 08.10.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.11
The BBC today unveiled its vision for the next generation BBC iPlayer, evolving its popular video on-demand service for audiences in the future. The new service will see it move from a broadcast TV catch-up service to the BBC’s primary digital entertainment destination.

The BBC today unveiled its vision for the next generation BBC iPlayer, evolving its popular video on-demand service for audiences in the future. The new service will see it move from a broadcast TV catch-up service to the BBC’s primary digital entertainment destination.

The BBC’s vision for new iPlayer focuses on three key areas:

  • A greater range of content
  • New ways of watching BBC TV shows
  • Innovative new features

In the future, BBC iPlayer will experiment with:

  • Pop-up channels - around specific events or festivals such as Glastonbury, curated by key talent
  • Online channels - such as Radio 1 TV, Arts or Science
  • More exclusive content - building on the success of comedy pilots for BBC Three
  • The ability to create your own evening schedule - with access to more content before it is on TV
  • An extended window to watch increasing from seven to 30 days
  • Ability to pause and resume TV viewing from one screen to another
  • More relevant and personalised recommendations

In the future, BBC iPlayer will introduce more programming made exclusively for online audiences for much-loved BBC shows like EastEnders, Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing, and themed collections from the BBC’s Archive.

As audiences are increasingly accessing BBC content at a time and on a device that suits them, the BBC will make it easier for fans to watch what they want, when and where they want to, and introduce the ability to pause and resume TV viewing from one screen to another. BBC iPlayer will also introduce the ability to create personalised channels based on your preferences.

BBC Director-General, Tony Hall, says: "The new generation of BBC iPlayer is set to transform our relationship with audiences. In the coming years, for many people BBC iPlayer is going to be the front door to our programming and the experience they have is going to be a world away from that of a traditional 'one to many' broadcaster.

“It will be a relationship where we provide our audiences with what they want, when and how they want it. And crucially through enhanced interactivity, they will also be able to tell us what they think of these programmes and services too. That conversation excites me hugely as it means our audiences won't just receive the programmes we make, they will contribute to how we make them as well."

Ralph Rivera, Director of BBC Future Media, says: “BBC iPlayer is one of the BBC’s greatest inventions and one of the UK’s favourite brands. We plan to revolutionise iPlayer from a service primarily used to catch up on BBC TV to an entertainment destination for all – wherever you are. With innovative interactive features and a new design that helps you discover more hidden gems from the BBC, iPlayer will transform online TV for audiences now and in the future.”

Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, says: “From new programming exclusive to BBC iPlayer, to new online and pop-up channels around special interests or major events, BBC iPlayer will be bursting with more content than ever. We want to allow viewers to make the choices about what they watch and when. Over time, more and more of our programmes will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer before they are broadcast on TV, allowing viewers to create their own evening schedule. And, programmes will be available for longer – increasing the catch-up window from seven to 30 days. All this will make BBC iPlayer the ultimate destination for TV fans for years to come.”

Notes to Editors

* Some of these developments may need approval from the BBC Trust

BBC iPlayer will relaunch in the first half of 2014 as the first step towards this new vision.

Since its launch five years ago on Christmas day 2007, BBC iPlayer has become one of the UK’s favourite brands, with a record-breaking 2.32 billion programme requests in 2012 and 234m requests in August alone. BBC iPlayer is now available on over 1,000 devices and platforms, and in August, over 30 per cent of programme requests were from mobiles and tablets.

IW