The BBC is making big changes to the way online service BBC iPlayer, as the Beeb tries to “reflect changing audience expectations and ensure the BBC can continue to serve audiences.”
Part of these changes involve a longer date for TV programmes on the service, giving you perhaps and upping the amount of box sets, making more BBC shows available on the service for longer. This means that BBC’s iPlayer service can show off some of the TV they’ve produced without losing those audiences to streaming services like Netflix.
It also seems to be part of a rebranding to the way that iPlayer is perceived. Currently it’s viewed as a place to catch up with TV that you’ve missed, and indeed I used it over the Christmas break to watch both Doctor Who and Luther. However, iPlayer seem to want to be seen more as a destination, competing with rival streaming services as audiences spend more and more time watching TV at times that suit them.
While these plans are still moving through proposals, they seem to be rolling out regardless. This week, coinciding with the airing of the fifth season, all previous seasons of Luther were added to the library. Late last year the service aired Killing Eve ahead of its television debut in the UK.
Charlotte Moore, the director of BBC Content, says: “We all know that in the future BBC iPlayer will be the main way many people will want to watch the BBC. It is already for many younger viewers.
“These changes are about ensuring we continue to deliver value for money to licence fee payers – and meet expectations of viewers who want to watch full series whenever they choose to.
“It’s also important that regulation recognises that there should be a level playing field for public service broadcasters, to ensure British stories are being told for British audiences.”
The consultation will be running from today, that’s Monday 7th January until Friday 15th February. We’ll no doubt see some chunky changes rolled out around that time, so the iPlayer as you know it is about to be changed forever and it could be for the best.
The consultation is open for six weeks from Monday 7 January to Friday 15 February.