Tuesday, January 8, 2019

BBC wants to radically overhaul and improve its iPlayer digital streaming service to compete better with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) wants to radically overhaul and improve its iPlayer digital streaming service in order to compete better with global video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Sky's Now TV.

The BBC's iPlayer provides library content and catch-up episodes of series in the United Kingdom.

South Africa's public broadcaster, the SABC has no such service and is far behind in best-practice when it comes to a similar digital catch up service for its content, but in 2018 Chris Maroleng, SABC chief operating officer (COO) said the SABC is working on rolling out a digital app and will start with the app providing SABC News.

The BBC has now started a public consultation process with the hopes of a radical overhaul of the iPlayer. The BBC wants to make its prime drama series, comedy series and documentaries available and keep it available for at least a year after its first broadcast.

At the moment episodes of current BBC shows on the iPlayer only remain accessible for 30 days.

The BBC also wants to add complete box sets of previous seasons of shows when a new season is being rolled out. To increase the available library of archive content is another proposal.

The BBC's public consultation process about the way forward for the iPlayer will close on 15 February.

"We know that in the future BBC iPlayer will be the main way many people will want to watch the BBC," says Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content.

"It already is 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."