The BBC has unveiled plans for a massive revamp of its pioneering streaming service iPlayer in what is said to be a direct response to Netflix, Amazon and the impending arrival of Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max and Peacock amongst others.
At an event in London on Monday evening, director general Tony Hall and content chief Charlotte Moore said the plan is to turn iPlayer into a “total TV” service with personalized content, live events, box-sets, and all of the broadcaster’s television stations. In fact they expect it will become the main way people view its programmes.
The British broadcaster recently got the greenlight to extend iPlayer’s catch-up window for new shows from just 30 days to 12 months. This longer viewing window will be at the heart of the revamp, the biggest since iPlayer launched in 2007.
The company is playing up iPlayer as a human-curated platform, rather than being moderated by machines. While it can’t compete with the money that the big American streamers can offer, they can “offer creative freedom, free from focus groups and algorithms, and a bigger shop window on TV and audio.”
Moore says: “iPlayer will become the heart of everything we do; the gateway to all our programs – a ‘total TV’ experience which will bring everything you want from BBC television into one place for the first time… In a world of so much content and choice, a dynamic curated offering will become more and more important to people and will set the BBC apart.”
iPlayer remains an incredibly in demand service in the UK, racking up 90 million program requests in the final week of September. Even so, the service which once had a 40% share of the UK streaming market five years ago has seen that dwindle to 15% after the explosive growth of Netflix.
Source: The Guardian