The BBC has unveiled an update to its on-demand iPlayer service, which will include new online-only shows for “a BBC Three audience”, as the broadcaster looks to emulate the success of Netflix.
Analysts say iPlayer is becoming more like Netflix, which has enjoyed success with the likes of House of Cards. The BBC update features a Netflix-esque ‘play next episode’ feature.
The new iPlayer features responsive design – meaning the look of the page, and some functionality, adapts depending on what kind of device is being used.
The service will recommend more programmes to visitors, due to a growing number – currently 42% – of people who visit iPlayer without any particular programme in mind.
The Collections section will highlight archive content and will group together programmes around particular themes or events.
The first of these will be a selection of 14 interviews with World War One veterans.
BBC director general Tony Hall said of the new iPlayer: “It’s a staging post. This journey will never end. It’s just the start. iPlayer is a metaphor for the BBC it allows us to inform, educate and entertain but in new ineresting creative ways we can only imagine at the moment. We’re beginning to bring life to the vision we’ve all got of the iPlayer being the front door for many more people to the BBC.
“We want you to be able to find content you might not have known you might like or at all, in a much more personal and effortless way.”
Other exclusive iPlayer content will include My God, It’s Full of Fans, a film commissioned to accompany BBC2’s history of science fiction documentary series My God, It’s Full of Stars; and the new series premiere of People Just Do Nothing, a comedy commissioned after being piloted on the service via the BBC3 Comedy Feeds initiative.
The service will also host exclusive comedy content from Frankie Boyle, Bob Mortimer, Meera Syal, Morgana Robinson, Micky Flanagan, Matt Berry and Stewart Lee.
Other new features rolling out on Tuesday will include an opt-in preview on computer, tablet and mobile browsers and a range of connected TVs. Launched on Christmas Day 2007, iPlayer’s last major upgrade was in 2011.