This is an exciting day for us. BBC iPlayer is really popular, and new iPlayer will be even better. You’ll be able to find so many more programmes you might like – and I hope everyone enjoys the new design. It’s just a first step to re-inventing BBC iPlayer, the best online television service in the world.”Tony Hall, Director-General, BBC
Date: 11.03.2014 Last updated: 16.05.2014 at 12.50
The BBC Director-General, Tony Hall, today launched new BBC iPlayer, the latest version of the BBC’s popular video-on-demand service.
BBC unveils new BBC iPlayer
Launched on Christmas day 2007, BBC iPlayer has grown to be the number one brand in the UK.* Loved by audiences, BBC iPlayer is now available on over 1000 devices across four screens – mobile, tablet, computer and TV. The apps have been downloaded over 28m times and in January 2014 there were 315 million requests - averaging over 10 million requests a day.
Over 10 billion programmes have been requested in the six years since launch, with over 3 billion of these coming in 2013 alone.
Tony Hall, Director-General, BBC, commented: "This is an exciting day for us. BBC iPlayer is really popular, and new iPlayer will be even better. You’ll be able to find so many more programmes you might like – and I hope everyone enjoys the new design. It’s just a first step to re-inventing BBC iPlayer, the best online television service in the world.”
Redesigned from the ground up, the new version of BBC iPlayer brings together a new look and feel with core functionality that is built for the future. It makes finding content simpler, discovering new content easier and allows more options for the curation of content. Playback is richer and the viewing experience is tailored to the device being used by the viewer.
Rolling out from today as an opt-in preview on computer, tablet and mobile browsers – and a range of connected TVs, new BBC iPlayer has:
a consistent, optimised, responsive design
more advanced recommendations – helping the 42% of BBC iPlayer users who come to iPlayer with nothing in mind to watch
smarter search – if you want Top Gear, type 'To' and BBC iPlayer will predict your search and offer options – making it easier to find what you want
collections – groups of programmes curated around events, themes or moments in time that allows you to find more of the content that matters to you
improved access to channels and categories, with both given more prominence - all branded with channel colours and logos
the best ever playback experience. We dim the lights and get out of the way
a new-look favourites section that updates with the latest episodes available to watch. Recently watched and searched options that allow easy access to programmes you've recently viewed and searched for, and resume play that allows you to pick up an episode where you left off
In the coming months, the BBC iPlayer mobile and tablet apps will be updated with the new look and feel – providing audiences with a consistent iPlayer experience across even more devices.
But it’s not just BBC iPlayer. It’s the content that lives on iPlayer.
The BBC also announced today a raft of new iPlayer commissions that introduce audiences to new talent, and give established favourites the chance to do something different and innovative.
Original Drama Shorts – Flea, Tag and My Jihad – original films from new young writers and emerging talent. Available on BBC iPlayer from today
Original Comedy Shorts – six original comedies from the likes of Frankie Boyle, Bob Mortimer, Meera Syal, Morgana Robinson, Micky Flanagan and Matt Berry. Available on BBC iPlayer from May 2014
Acclaimed journalist and storyteller Adam Curtis will bring iPlayer a radical vision of contemporary Britain, exploring the themes of hypocrisy, deception and corruption with his iPlayer trilogy: Out There, At The Mountains Of Madness and Dream Baby Dream. Available on BBC iPlayer from July 2014.
A guided tour of Matisse The Cut-Outs Exhibition at Tate Modern by musician and artist Goldie. Available on BBC iPlayer from April 2014
The new series premiere of People Just Do Nothing, a show born on BBC iPlayer through the first batch of BBC Three ‘Comedy Feeds’. Available on BBC iPlayer from May 2014
BBC Four: Great War Interviews Collection - 13 previously unseen full-length interviews with war veterans and civilians, curated by Sir Max Hastings. Available on BBC iPlayer from today
An exclusive BBC iPlayer film ‘My God, It’s Full Of Fans' to accompany the BBC Two series on the history of science fiction My God, It’s Full Of Stars. Coming soon to BBC iPlayer
A Chelsea Flower Show collection – a collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society that takes viewers on an exclusive in-depth tour of the show gardens. Available on BBC iPlayer in May.
A mockumentary about pirate radio station Kurupt FM and its crew.
The writers/performers/creators are a group of friends who had never done anything on television. They filmed themselves doing some five-minute comedy webisodes and put them on YouTube. After the BBC saw these, they were commissioned to write a full half-hour pilot as part of the very first batch of iPlayer pilots for BBC Three (called ‘Comedy Feeds’). The pilot was the most shared programme on iPlayer during the month of July 2012. It has now been commissioned as a 4x30-minute series for BBC Three.
Executive Producer: Ash Atalla
Original Comedy Shorts
Available on BBC iPlayer from May 2014
Six original comedy shorts starring the finest British Comedians. Each comedian was invited to create a piece exclusively for BBC iPlayer, something they’ve always wanted to write or perform. With no fixed durations, the comedies are as long, as they are funny - these range from an Austro-German medical caper set in the 1940s, to a demented interactive cookery show.
Micky Flanagan's Foxageddon
Frankie Boyle and Bob Mortimer’s Cookery Show
Reece Shearsmith 'The Case Of The High Foot'
Matt Berry: The Lone Wolf
Meera Syal's Bollywood Fights
Executive producer: Lisa Clark
My God, It’s Full Of Fans (working title)
Coming soon to BBC iPlayer
This iPlayer film takes us into the world of sci-fi fandom. We’re guided through the fans’ stories by Barry Nugent (The Nuge) and David Monteith (Monts) aka the co-founders of The Geek Syndicate website and podcasts. Science Fiction fans are as important as the creators in making the genre possible. With internet discussion groups, a lively fan fiction scene, and a growing number of conventions and previews, the fans are playing a role in the genre as never before.
This iPlayer film will accompany the BBC Two series on the history of science fiction ‘My God, It’s Full Of Stars’
Executive Producer: Michael Poole
BBC Arts Bristol
Adam Curtis Trilogy
Available on BBC iPlayer from July 2014
Adam Curtis will be creating a trilogy of projects specifically for BBC iPlayer. His aim is to explore the new possibilities for storytelling that iPlayer has opened up.
"BBC iPlayer is far more than just a way of repeating programmes," he says, "I don't think we have fully understood what the new opportunities it offers are. But it frees one from the constraints of scheduling and format on the traditional TV channels - and I think that may allow stories to become far more emotionally involving and complicated."
Curtis's three projects will be very different in the stories they tell - and how they tell them. But taken together they will be an investigation into how power really works in today's world.
They will be about the culture of hypocrisy, deception and corruption that surrounds us today. The modern melodrama of lying politicians, cheating journalists and media barons, sinister children's entertainers, corrupt energy companies and out of control security services.
But the films will also suggest that we have become so mesmerised by this ferocious vaudeville that we cannot see the new systems of power and control that have risen up. Systems that simplify the idea of what we are as human beings - and limit what we are capable of.
The first will be a multi-part series about what has happened to power in Britain over the past 30 years. It will be called 'Out There'.
The second - 'At The Mountains Of Madness' - will be an epic about the strange relationship of the West to Afghanistan over the past 100 years. How it reflects back to it's invaders a distorted version of their own dreams. While beyond that is another country that we never see or understand.
And the third - called 'Dream Baby Dream' - is a collaboration with the band Massive Attack. It is about how we have become haunted by the past - and have no vision of the future.
Executive Producer: Adam Curtis
BBC News & Current Affairs
BBC Four: Great War Interviews Collection
Available on BBC iPlayer from 11 March 2014
As part of the BBC’s programming to mark the centenary of the First World War, The Great War Interviews have been commissioned as a BBC Four Collection, for iPlayer. The Collection contains 13 previously unseen interviews with war veterans and civilians in their entirety. The interviews are derived from the footage shot for the 1964 BBC series The Great War, and were restored for this collection in collaboration with Imperial War Museums.
Featuring powerful first-hand accounts, the interviews have been selected to show a cross section of experiences of war. From life in the trenches and aerial warfare, to life on the Homefront; it includes veterans from British, Australian and German battalions.
The collection is curated by Sir Max Hastings, who provides an introduction to the interviews based on his personal experience of working on the Great War series as a researcher in the early Sixties.
The interviews will be permanently available to view on BBC iPlayer.
Executive Producer: Sandra Gorel
BBC Four Archive Collectons
Chelsea Flower Show Collection
Available on BBC iPlayer from May 2014
For this year’s Chelsea Flower show, we’ll take our viewers on an exclusive in-depth tour of the show gardens where viewers will be able to luxuriate in more angles of the stunning designs and discover more detailed information behind the creation of the most talked about gardens at the event.
Audiences will be able to see five individual garden profiles each day, watch specially shot interviews with the designers, and hear reviews from the Chelsea Flower Show team. We then give viewers the chance to vote for their favourite Main Avenue garden to determine an extra prestigious award which will be announced at the end of the event.
Executive Producer Simon Shaw
Matisse: The Cut-Outs Exhibition
Available on BBC iPlayer from April 2014
BBC iPlayer will be opening the doors of the Tate Modern to enable audiences to enjoy Matisse’s The Cut Outs exhibition. Audiences will be guided through the exhibition by musician and artist Goldie who will offer his own very personal perspectives on a selection of the 120 works.
Henri Matisse is one of the most renowned artists of his generation. His landmark show at the Tate Modern will look at his later career in which he began ‘carving into colour’ resulting in his spectacular cut-outs.