Advanced Television

BBC unveils new, simpler iPlayer

March 11, 2014

new-iplayerThe BBC Director-General, Tony Hall, has launched the new iPlayer, the latest version of the BBC’s online catch-up service.

Hall commented: “This is an exciting day for us. BBC iPlayer is really popular, and new iPlayer will be even better. You’ll be able to find so many more programmes you might like – and I hope everyone enjoys the new design. It’s just a first step to re-inventing BBC iPlayer, the best online television service in the world.”

Redesigned from the ground up, the new version of BBC iPlayer brings together a new look and feel with core functionality that is built for the future, according to the corporation. It makes finding content simpler, discovering new content easier and allows more options for the curation of content. Playback is richer and the viewing experience is tailored to the device being used by the viewer.

Rolling out immediately as an opt-in preview on computer, tablet and mobile browsers – and a range of connected TVs, new BBC iPlayer has:

  • a consistent, optimised, responsive design
  • more advanced recommendations – helping the 42 per cent of BBC iPlayer users who come to iPlayer with nothing in mind to watch
  • smarter search – if you want Top Gear, type ‘To’ and BBC iPlayer will predict your search and offer options – making it easier to find what you want
  • collections – groups of programmes curated around events, themes or moments in time that allows you to find more of the content that matters to you
  • improved access to channels and categories, with both given more prominence – all branded with channel colours and logos
  • image-led navigation
  • the best ever playback experience. We dim the lights and get out of the way
  • a new-look favourites section that updates with the latest episodes available to watch. Recently watched and searched options that allow easy access to programmes you’ve recently viewed and searched for, and resume play that allows you to pick up an episode where you left off

In the coming months, the BBC iPlayer mobile and tablet apps will be updated with the new look and feel – providing audiences with a consistent iPlayer experience across more devices.

The BBC also announced a raft of new iPlayer commissions that introduce audiences to new talent, and give established favourites the chance to do something different and innovative.

These include:

  • Original Drama Shorts – Flea, Tag and My Jihad – original films from new young writers and emerging talent. Available on BBC iPlayer from today
  • Original Comedy Shorts – seven original comedies from the likes of Frankie Boyle, Bob Mortimer, Meera Syal, Morgana Robinson, Micky Flanagan, Matt Berry and Stewart Lee. Available on BBC iPlayer from May 2014
  • Acclaimed journalist and storyteller Adam Curtis will bring iPlayer a radical vision of contemporary Britain, exploring the themes of hypocrisy, deception and corruption with his iPlayer trilogy: Out There, At The Mountains Of Madness and Dream Baby Dream. Available on BBC iPlayer from July 2014.
  • A guided tour of Matisse The Cut-Outs Exhibition at Tate Modern by musician and artist Goldie. Available on BBC iPlayer from April 2014
  • The new series premiere of People Just Do Nothing, a show born on BBC iPlayer through the first batch of BBC Three ‘Comedy Feeds’. Available on BBC iPlayer from May 2014
  • BBC Four: Great War Interviews Collection – 13 previously unseen full-length interviews with war veterans and civilians, curated by Sir Max Hastings. Available on BBC iPlayer from today
  • An exclusive BBC iPlayer film My God, It’s Full Of Fans to accompany the BBC Two series on the history of science fiction My God, It’s Full Of Stars. Coming soon to BBC iPlayer
  • A Chelsea Flower Show collection – a collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society that takes viewers on an exclusive in-depth tour of the show gardens. Available on BBC iPlayer in May.

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