BBC iPlayer Help

Why has BBC iPlayer Radio changed to BBC Sounds?

The BBC announced earlier this year that it will be replacing BBC iPlayer Radio with a new audio product called BBC Sounds, firstly via this About the BBC blog: Introducing the first version of BBC Sounds.

And also in this speech to the Royal Television Society, where Tony Hall said: "We’re changing the way we can all consume radio - with a new audio service BBC Sounds to replace iPlayer Radio - to give you easier access to the great British content we make."

On the web, this change happened on October 16th. We are doing this to introduce a more personalised listening product which combines radio, podcasts and music, and which appeals to audience members who are less familiar with our radio brands and content than many of our existing users.

The key changes that users will notice are:

  • The look and feel of the site reflects the new BBC Sounds branding. The older BBC iPlayer Radio branding has been removed.
  • The main BBC site navigation has changed - “Sounds” replaces “Radio” in the main navigation bar at the top of every page on bbc.co.uk.
  • Site navigation has also changed, with the Sounds navigation containing links to the homepage (“Listen") and a personalised area for saved and subscribed programmes ("My Sounds"). Links to all radio stations, schedules, and categories are moved into the main area of the homepage. The iPlayer Radio navigation bar has also been removed from all pages.
  • My Radio has changed to My Sounds, where we’ve added a list of latest episodes from programmes or podcasts you are subscribed to.
  • We’ve made it much easier to subscribe to a programme or podcast, with subscribe buttons appearing wherever we show multiple episodes from a programme.
  • Playback of live and on-demand audio now happens within the BBC Sounds website rather than on episode pages. You can still listen via the pop-out Radioplayer console if you visit the relevant station homepage (e.g. Radio 4: www.bbc.co.uk/radio4).
  • We have removed the old BBC iPlayer Radio search function and now just have one search box on the page, in the top right hand corner of every page.

Otherwise, the functionality of the new Sounds homepage matches the old iPlayer Radio homepage but the new URL is www.bbc.co.uk/sounds.

The BBC iPlayer Radio app will continue to work for now, but we will be encouraging users to switch over to using BBC Sounds over the coming months. 

Head of Product Dan Taylor-Watt published a new blog post on the 16th October to update on changes to BBC Sounds since we introduced it in June of this year: The next major update for BBC Sounds.  

If you would like to leave some feedback for us about BBC Sounds you can do so by going to our online survey: BBC Sounds | Let us know what you think. All your feedback is appreciated.

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