iPlayer redesigned for living room TV push

The BBC has launched a new version of the iPlayer, designed specifically for use on living room televisions, in a bid to increase use of the digital catch-up product with mainstream audiences.

It is initially launching the new version on Sony's PlayStation 3, and plans to expand the service to more devices in the coming months, as it looks to evolve the product "beyond catch-up into a complete connected TV experience".

The new player has been designed to make browsing easier and provide a similar experience to flicking through TV channels.

It also allows viewers see previous search results, choose their favourite programmes and provides recommendations based on these in a bid add greater personalisation to the service.

Daniel Danker, BBC's general manager, programmes and on-demand, said: "We're transforming iPlayer in its most natural home: right on the living room TV.

"By creating a product that’s as simple and intuitive as flicking through TV channels, the BBC is bringing on demand television to mainstream audiences across the UK."

He said that with iPlayer already available on more than 300 models of connected TV devices and Blu-ray disc players its use has on TV has grown five-fold in past six months. It grew from 579,000 programme requests on connected TVs in December last year to 3.1 million in July this year.

"At this rate of growth, in the next few years we could well see over half of iPlayer use directly on the living room TV," said Danker.

Last week, Ofcom published research showing that 10% (one million) of all TVs sold in the UK 2010 were internet-ready.

The iPlayer launched on Virgin Media and the Nintendo Wii in 2008 and the PS3 in 2009.

The BBC claims to receive 10 million requests for programmes on iPlayer from licence-fee payers using games consoles to access BBC iPlayer.

A spokesperson for the BBC said that it would like to launch the iPlayer on the Xbox 360, given its penetration, however no agreement can be reached with Microsoft currently with it being a closed platform.

Last month, the BBC launched a global iPlayer, initially in Western Europe, available via a monthly subscription.

In November last year, the PlayStation 3 became the first games console to host the LoveFilm player.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs


Freeview depicts Orwellian pay-TV nightmare in biggest campaign to date

Freeview depicts Orwellian pay-TV nightmare in biggest campaign to date

Freeview has unveiled its biggest ad campaign to date upon the launch its new TV service, Freeview Play.

Radiocentre demystifies music's effectiveness in ads with scientific research

Radiocentre demystifies music's effectiveness in ads with scientific research

Radiocentre, the trade body for commercial radio, has launched a tool for brands and agencies that explores how music can be linked to brands more strategically.

If England go out - what then for the sponsors?

If England go out - what then for the sponsors?

England's chances of progressing beyond the group stage of Rugby World Cup were dealt a blow by defeat to Wales at Twickenham last weekend. Another loss would see them exit the tournament. What impact would this have on those companies who have spent so heavily building an association with the tournament? We asked six of the UK's leading sponsorship experts: what would they do?


Get news by email