BBC launches children's iPlayer

LONDON - The BBC is launching a kids-oriented version of its iPlayer, allowing children to watch popular BBC shows on-demand in a child-friendly environment.

Kids' stuff: the BBC iPlayer for CBBC provides a dedicated area for children's on-demand viewing
Kids' stuff: the BBC iPlayer for CBBC provides a dedicated area for children's on-demand viewing

Designed for children aged between 6 and 12, BBC iPlayer for CBBC gives children the chance to view popular CBBC kids’ shows such as Blue Peter and MI High.

Through the CBBC website, children will be able to access BBC iPlayer and view for one week after broadcast a selection of programmes, in an area sectioned off from other channel programming. In addition, some programmes will be available for up to 13 weeks as series catch-ups (stacked).

BBC iPlayer for CBBC will restrict access to non-children's programming and provides a dedicated area that puts children's viewing priorities first.

The service is optimised in a different way to the core iPlayer, relying more heavily on visual cues than text navigation. Following a soft launch of the new service, the BBC iPlayer for CBBC will be supported by an on-air marketing campaign in February.

A second stage of the launch is planned during the first half of 2009, with the provision of BBC iPlayer for the CBeebies audience – designed as a shared online experience operated by parents focusing on programmes for children under six.

The service, due to launch today, is an extension of the BBC iPlayer which has received more than 250 million requests to view BBC programmes since its launch last year.

Richard Deverell, controller of BBC Children's, said: The iPlayer for CBBC is central to fulfilling our ambitions for CBBC, as it enables us to provide programmes for children whenever they want to see them, not just when we choose to schedule them. Children already live in the fully interactive and on-demand world and this important launch means CBBC can be there for them.

Anthony Rose, controller, BBC Vision and Online Media Group, said: "Over the past year, we made BBC iPlayer available on a wide range of mobile phones, portable media players and gaming consoles, allowing our audience to experience BBC iPlayer programmes around the house and on the move.

"However, we realise that a lot of those devices are primarily available to adults, so today we're pleased to unveil a version of BBC iPlayer specifically for children."

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