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New BBC iPlayer launched for multiple platforms

A brand new version of BBC iPlayer has been announced for multiple platforms, which will be focused on updating the service for a “multiscreen world”.

The brand new desktop version of BBC iPlayer will start rolling out today along with a new TV version of the on-demand service.  

BBC iPlayer mobile and tablet apps will be updated with the new interface “within the coming months”.

“The new iPlayer has been designed for a multiscreen world, so the experience is consistent, but optimised across PC, tablet, mobile and TV devices and we’ve built it in such a way that we can rapidly develop and release new features across those four screens”, explained Dan Taylor, Head of BBC iPlayer.

The BBC says it has focused on making it easier to discover new content, specifically targeting the 42 per cent of users that head to iPlayer without a particular programme in mind.

The Home Screen now features a consistent navigation bar offering access to programme categories or specific channels. There’s also a Find a Programme option on the left hand side, along with an A-Z programme list and a recently watched filter.

If you hover over a programme on the main “image-led” home page or any of the channel hubs, you’ll be presented with a short description of the show, its duration and original airing time.

The new iPlayer has also introduced special home pages for each BBC channel, making it easier to discover and watch the best programmes each has to offer.

BBC iPlayer now has a fuller range of categories to filter the available content, including those specifically suitable for viewers that require Audio Described and Signed content, or regional programming.

You might be aware of the themed archive collections released by BBC Four over the past few years, but users often complain they are difficult to discover on the iPlayer. Now they’ve found a home in the Collections section of the new iPlayer and are grouped by series, season, theme or event.

“Of course, watching programmes is the beating heart of iPlayer and we’ve optimised the new playback page for what users are looking to do before, during and after viewing,” added Taylor.

Before the show starts you get all the key information and quick access to alternate episodes, but as soon as the content starts playing, the lights are dimmed and all info is tucked away.

Similar to Netflix, the new iPlayer will automatically cue the next episode in the series to start after the one you’ve just watched if it is available, or suggest related content.

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