BBC launches updated iPlayer

The new BBC iPlayer on tablet, smart phone, TV and computer

The new BBC iPlayer on tablet, smart phone, TV and computer

The BBC is rolling out an updated version of its iPlayer streaming service in a bid to offer a “consistent, but optimised,” experience across different screens. 

Due to start rolling out today, the BBC said the new version of the iPlayer has been developed using responsive design so that it can be accessed on from different sized screens without the need for separate versions to be built.

It also includes a simpler and “easier to browse” homescreen, with the entire service designed to be easier to navigate.

“A major focus of this release is making it easier to find something to watch, helping you quickly and easily find the programmes you know you’re looking for and, crucially, helping you discover something new. The current iPlayer’s pretty good if you know what you want to watch, but we know that 42% of visitors are now coming without a particular programme in mind,” said iPlayer boss Dan Taylor announcing the changes.

The revamped iPlayer includes new BBC channels pages and different programme categories – gone is the ‘factual’ genre, replaced instead with “genres which users talk about when describing their TV viewing habits: documentaries, food, arts, history, science & nature,” said Taylor.

Another new addition is ‘collections’ section that groups programmes by series, season, event or theme. A ‘recently watched’ section lets viewers quickly resume watching shows, while new search tools suggest programmes a viewer may be looking for as soon as they start typing.

“I’m very proud of what the iPlayer development teams in London & Salford have built and as I mentioned, this launch is just the beginning,” said Taylor.

“We’ve got ambitious plans for later in the year including extending the standard availability window from 7 days to 30 days and introducing new IP only channels (such as a Radio 1 video channel), subject to approval from the BBC Trust. We also have a raft of exciting personalisation features in mind.”

The new-look iPlayer starts to roll out today on computers, tablets, mobiles and connected TVs. The iPlayer mobile and tablet apps will be updated with the new interface in the coming months.

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