iPlayer could become more like Netflix in future

The BBC has hinted that it will open up iPlayer to “showcase content from others” in a new paper setting out the future of the Beeb.

In a speech at Science Museum today, the Director General of the BBC, Tony Hall, said “We will show how the BBC will reform and thrive in the internet age to do what has always motivated us – to serve our audiences even better.”

One of the reforms appears to be opening up iPlayer and a more Netflix-like approach. It plans to experiment in releasing complete seasons all in one go, and that it could offer paid-for content alongside the usual iPlayer content.

“We want to explore new opportunities to help bring original British content together, to help audiences and industry alike make the most of this opportunity to support our cultural crown jewels. Our aim would be simple – to increase the traffic to, and investment in, original British content,” Hall explained.

The aim, it seems, is to potentially use iPlayer to showcase other British content, even if the BBC didn’t commission or produce it, though Hall stressed that iPlayer was only one possible solution to that problem.

Hall’s concern is that rival platforms, such as Netflix, had become the platforms for British content old and new, rather than one’s controlled by producers in Britain.

Hall also announced a renewed focus on “high quality British drama” and plans to create a “streaming news” service called BBC Newstream.

Finally, the BBC looks set to take on the challenge from Apple’s Beats 1 by creating “responsive radio” that gives audiences a personalised schedule of radio programmes.

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