BBC promises iPlayer revamp to compete with Netflix

Netflix, News, Online TV

BBC bosses have promised a total transformation of the iPlayer to compete with streaming giants.

Director-general Lord Tony Hall believes the corporation can challenge the existing dominance of services like Netflix and Amazon.

Quality content and curation will be at the heart of BBC plans for online platform, which will undergo the biggest revamp since launch in 2007.

Director-general of the BBC Lord Tony Hall has plans for the service. (Ben Stansall/PA)

The broadcaster promises a new on-demand platform, box sets, live TV across all BBC channels, and a new look for the service.

While the corporation concedes it cannot compete financially with the coffers of Netflix, it can promote individual talent and curate the platform with a human touch.

Lord Hall will say today: “iPlayer is a great service. But it can and will be even better.

“The BBC’s combination of backing great and different ideas, alongside a complete reinvention of iPlayer, will mean a unique service that will be of huge benefit to the public.

“It will be a new front door for British creativity. There are exciting times ahead.”

Media watchdog Ofcom recently gave the BBC the green light to expand its iPlayer service, and host its content online for longer periods, after initial disputes over the value to the public and competitors.

The BBC intends to take advantage of the peeled-back regulation to expand its service.

Charlotte Moore, director of content at the BBC, will say: “iPlayer will become the heart of everything we do; the gateway to all our programmes – a ‘total TV’ experience which will bring everything you want from BBC television into one place for the first time.

“There’s something else that makes our vision for iPlayer unique and special. In fact it’s the vital thing. It’s curated.

“We’re talking about a cutting-edge tech platform, run by humans. Because 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.”

The end of September saw the BBC’s record week on iPlayer, with more than 90 million programmes requested.

Programmes like Killing Eve have attracted huge audiences to the platform.

Chris Price
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