Entertainment & Arts

BBC boss Tony Hall wants Netflix-style service for radio

Tony Hall
Image caption Lord Hall was addressing The Voice of the Viewer and Listener lobby group

BBC boss Tony Hall has said he wants to create a Netflix-style service for BBC radio content.

Speaking to the Voice of the Viewer and Listener lobby group, Lord Hall said the BBC needed to do more with its "world-class" audio content.

Citing the BBC's domestic on-demand iPlayer service for video, he said he wanted a similar platform for radio but aimed at audiences outside the UK.

However, he gave no detail as to how or when such a service would begin.

Lord Hall said the online on-demand video service Netflix had cited the BBC as its inspiration with the success of the corporation's iPlayer.

Netflix, a commercial subscription service also available via TV sets, has had success with dramas such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and The Crown.

"With our world-class content, we could use our current output and the richness of our archive to create a Netflix of the spoken word," said Lord Hall.

Explaining his thinking, he said: "One of my goals in the years ahead is to strengthen and expand those areas in which we really lead the way globally.

"News, natural history and drama, yes. But also education, science and the arts. And audio."

He said Britain offered some of best radio in the world and, alongside the BBC's World Service output, there was more significant potential to offer more content around the world.

"One of the big challenges I have set my teams is just that: to enhance our global audio offer. The BBC makes the best radio in the world. It is one of our crown jewels, and we have an extraordinary wealth of audio riches at our disposal.

"It's one of the things that will help the BBC carry the full weight of Britain's culture and values, knowledge and know-how to the world in the years ahead. And say something really important about modern Britain."

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