The BBC are looking to take the top spot from Netflix and become the most popular online Video on Demand (VOD) service in the UK over the next few years.
BBC iPlayer is the online service for catching up on all the BBC’s fantastic shows, and most of their not-so fantastic shows as well. Despite not having the incredible range of selections that Netflix has the service has built itself up thanks to their worldwide esteemed reputation as a broadcaster as well as making their service free and ad-free, like their TV channels.
Now the iPlayer is planning a major overhaul of their service by 2020 to “reinvent public broadcasting for a new generation”. BBC’s director general, Lord Tony Hall said the iPlayer is already “the biggest revolution of the last charter” but it now needs to increase it’s viewership and reach.
Lord Hall continued, saying: “We need it to make the leap from a catch-up service to a must-visit destination in its own right.” As Hall says, visual media has “changed beyond all recognition – it’s more global and more competitive”, additionally as box-sets have become more and more available binge-watching has become one of the most popular methods of TV consumption. iPlayer currently offers mainly programmes that aired within the past 28 days, but making their massive backlog of original content available on iPlayer like All4 have done would make the service much more attractive to regular users.
Another suggestion is that the BBC may begin airing shows online before they’re broadcast on TV. It sounds like a giant move but the BBC have embraced online media before, moving their channel BBC Three to an exclusively online broadcast. Hall says that if the BBC is to remain a global leader in entertainment it needs to pioneer new technology and stay ahead of, or at least alongside, the latest trends.
“Our goal, even in the face of rapid growth by our competitors, is for iPlayer to be the number one online TV service in the UK”.